December 2022

12 Days of NewMark Merrill

The holiday season is about community, connectivity, and coming together. It’s also about celebrating.

And what better way to celebrate this most wonderful time of the year than by making a list (and checking it twice) of some of the ways in 2022 that NewMarkMerrill supported tenants and created memorable and engaging retail environments that made an enduring impact on the communities we serve.

These milestones may be short on turtledoves—and you won’t find a single partridge in a pear tree—but you will find plenty of evidence of committed community building, elevated experiences, productive partnerships, and seasonal celebrations that help keep things merry and bright long after the last presents have been opened and the decorations have been put away.

In 2022, NewMark Merrill shopping centers celebrated:

The Buzz @ Winston Plaza

Seasonal spirit is in abundance at this Chicago-area center.

Winston Plaza shopping center is in Melrose Park, IL, just west of Chicago—but that is apparently close enough to the North Pole to earn the noteworthy honor of being the first center in the NewMark Merrill portfolio this year to welcome Santa Claus himself to kick off a packed slate of seasonal festivities.

Santa arrived on the weekend before Thanksgiving, landing not in a sleigh, but in a helicopter—to the delight of a cheering crowd of more than 3,000 visitors who were on hand to take part in a day-long celebration.

The long list of activities and holiday-themed special events included photos with Santa, free hot chocolate, live carolers, a visit from The Grinch, a “snow globe” room filled with thousands of balloons, and a letters-to-Santa workshop hosted by Mrs. Claus. This popular and highly anticipated annual highlight has now been part of the community calendar for over a decade. Fittingly, it was a true community effort. Representatives from Melrose Park PD and Fire Department, along with local representatives from Homeland Security were on hand to help direct traffic and spread holiday cheer.

Many Winston Plaza tenants participated in the holiday celebrations. New tenant Northern Tool celebrated the grand opening of their 25,000-square-foot space on the same day, and newcomer SNIPES also joined in the fun. FiveBelow donated bags of goodies for attendees, and the armed forces contributed with Marines on site to collect for Toys for Tots.

Unsurprisingly, all tenants enjoyed the benefits of a surge of traffic with stores reporting consistently high sales during the event. Working Gear, for example, saw sales numbers jump 50% in the first half of the day compared to a typical Saturday. From signage to social media, the Winston Plaza management team did its part to amplify the holiday promotions of tenants by dedicating a sizable percentage of media dollars to turn up the volume on seasonal marketing. It’s yet another reminder of the power of seasonal synergy in bringing communities together and reaffirming that a great retail center isn’t just a place people want to shop—it’s a place people want to be.