Seasonal décor is an increasingly important part of a center's overall marketing strategy. Holiday decorations and child-friendly programs attract a great deal of media coverage for malls, according to a media survey released at this year's ICSC Fall Management and Marketing Conference in Orlando.

Center owners and managers are getting wise to the value of these programs, and are going to great lengths to ensure their impact on shoppers old and young.

For example, General Growth Properties brought in consultant Robin Miller of Miller & Moore to spearhead management of new seasonal décor packages for several centers in the company's six portfolios. In the past, the company's properties featured uniform programs, with similar holiday décor installed in all centers.

Thanks to Miller's efforts, the GGP portfolio now sports a variety of holiday packages, each tailored to the specific demographics served by the individual centers. “We put a lot of research into these programs,” Miller says. “Some centers even conducted research as to the effectiveness of their seasonal décor. Comments were solicited from consumers and they have been incorporated into the new décorations.”

The accompanying pictorial features the new seasonal decorations at GGP malls. Customization is the common theme tying all these décor packages together, Miller says.