CapitaMalls Asia Captures Kiddy Crowd

Family-friendly features guarantee wholesome fun for tots and parents

Issue: Apr 2011

Kids playing at IMM
Malls are no longer just for shopping and eating; they are for experiential fun and play for the whole family

While retail therapy may appeal to most moms and the odd dad or two, the trailing tots may not feel the same. This sentiment is rapidly changing though. With forward-thinking malls like IMM and Plaza Singapura, managed by CapitaMalls Asia, shopping malls are now the new playgrounds for the entire family.

IMM at Jurong East and Plaza Singapura along Orchard Road were both recently awarded the “We Welcome Families” Excellence Award 2011 for demonstrating leading measures that welcome families as customers. The ‘We Welcome Families’ Award is a prestigious award conferred by the Businesses for Family Council to businesses that demonstrate the highest standards of family-friendly business practices in Singapore.

IMM’s 2nd floor shops
From clothes and shoes they wear to the toys that keep them occupied, IMM’s second storey has a plethora of shops dedicated to children’s needs

Family-oriented Tenant Mix

At IMM and Plaza Singapura, the tenant mix is a strong appeal for families. An entire second floor at IMM is dedicated to family-themed shops - from children’s clothes and shoes to maternity wear, toy stores, and even a mini video games arcade complete with kiddy rides.

Located on Level 3 is an Arts and Craft corner where you can park your little ones while you shop. Free monthly workshops there are offered to the first 30 kids whose families have spent a minimum of $30 in any shop at the mall. Amongst the many activities available, children learn how to paint tee-shirts, make photo frames and even hand puppets out of brown paper bags.

One person who truly appreciates this is shopper Chen You Yi. She says, “My children enjoy the workshops. The shopping environment at IMM is just right for the family. That’s why we go there every week.”

Plaza Singapura, on the other hand, has tenants that offer arts and cultural enrichment for children. On the sixth level of the shopping mall is notable music school Yamaha which has been a long-time anchor tenant of the mall. Craft-related stores like Spotlight, Australia’s largest chain of fabric, craft and home interiors superstore is located on Level Five, while the first-in-Singapore-and-Southeast Asia scrapbook store Made with Love is located on Level Three.

“This is the place where a family can buy all necessities under one roof. The prices are very reasonable and the mall is conveniently located. Plaza Singapura is one of the best places I have shopped at,” says Samantha Athalage who shops at Plaza Singapura with her family often.

Playground at IMM
IMM’s Garden Plaza on Level Three has a wet and sheltered dry playground where kids can romp for free; the dry playground features a seven metre tall tree house, the first in a shopping mall

Experiential Fun for All

Of course with children, it isn’t enough just to provide shops that meet their needs. Being at the mall also has to be a fun experience. IMM has kiddy rides scattered from the first to the third floor to give children a respite from non-stop shopping. A wet and a sheltered dry playground at IMM Garden Plaza on the third storey also means that children can romp for free. The dry playground features a seven-metre tall tree house designed to wear out even the most energetic of kids.

Shopper Juraimie Bin Lonh’s family of four goes to IMM at least twice every month. “The playground is a hit with my family. We also like the wide variety of F&B outlets that cater to children,” she says.

As a bonus, a food court and a cluster of restaurants from seafood to Japanese ones look into this play area so parents can dine in comfort while keeping an eye on the children.

Fun programmes have also been organised to win young fans. Families who spend a minimum of $30 at IMM can register to celebrate their children’s birthdays for free at the mall. Every month, 20 children under the age of 12 get to bring a friend to an IMM sponsored birthday celebration complete with free art and craft workshops, party gear, goodies and cake.

Fashionistic Mom Contest
Plaza Singapura’s very own beauty pageant, Plaza Singapura Fasionistic Mom is a crowd puller

Plaza Singapura’s family-focused activities such as the Food Festival and Plaza Singapura Fashionistic Mom, a competition to find the most stylish mommies amongst its shoppers, have pulled in the families.

This June, it will be partnering with the Singapore Science Centre to bring “Robot Zoo” to young shoppers at the mall. Children will get to explore the biomechanics of animal robots as the entire atrium of the first floor will be transformed into one gigantic science fair complete with interactive exhibits, stage shows, workshops and games and quizzes.

Plaza Singapura family room
Plaza Singapura’s Family Lounge come with kids’ activities, board games, Xbox and cable TV, saving moms and dads the hassle of searching for things to keep their children occupied

A family-friendly infrastructure also keeps families returning. At IMM and Plaza Singapura, on top of nursing rooms, baby strollers can be loaned for free. There are also free shuttle services from nearby heavily populated residential areas to these malls.

Plaza Singapura recently opened a Family Lounge at Level Four. It comes equipped with toys, board games, cable television and an Xbox.

Even the tenants are happy with the family-friendly features. David Glass, Managing Director of Golden Village says, “The Family Lounge is a fantastic idea! Now men can rest somewhere while the ladies are shopping.”

At the Golden Village Cineplex at Plaza Singapura, mums with babies get to watch movies at a discounted price of $6. Families with young children, pregnant mothers and elderly grandparents can exit from the entrance of the cinema so they do not have to navigate flights of stairs. The bathrooms at the mall also have urinals for young boys in the male toilets and low sinks in the female toilets to accommodate children.

Family parking lots
Family parking lots are provided at Plaza Singapura Deck Three to cater to families with prams and little kids

Plaza Singapura goes one step further by providing dedicated family parking lots on Deck Three. Wider aisles and walkways accommodate strollers. Travellators and ramps throughout the mall make movement within Plaza Singapura a cinch, too.

“Although Plaza Singapura is older compared to the newer malls along Orchard road, it is still a favourite mall for many (families, young couples, PMEBs). It has managed to stay with the times through constant upgrading of its tenant mix and mall facilities,” concludes Mystery Shopping Findings 2010, following their survey last year.

Shoppers for Life

And these malls are continually coming up with creative initiatives to grow another generation of shoppers. Plaza Singapura, for example, launched their first PS Kids’ Blog Book, “P/S … My Pals & Secrets”, in March 2010 with a second edition due in the middle of this year. This diary-cum-notebook targeted at primary school children is an educational, informational and useful tool young shoppers can use for a year. The book has monthly activities with attractive rewards that can be redeemed. More than 265,000 copies of the Blog Book have been circulated to over 135 schools island-wide.

PS Kids’ Blog Book
The PS Kids’ Blog Book is a hit among primary school students

“I like the ‘P/S … My Pals & Secrets’ organiser because it lets me write down my secrets, have fun playing the games and the calendar allows me to write and mark down special occasions,” says 9-year-old Ina Song of Yew Tee Primary School.

““I like the ‘P/S ... My Pals & Secrets’ organiser because I can remember my friends’ contacts, know what offers there are at Plaza Singapura and improve myself with the tips given,” remarks 10-year-old Jermaine Tang of Nan Chiau Primary School.

Due to the overwhelming response, the 2nd edition of this Blog Book will be launched this June school holidays.

These days, with so much to see and do at the malls under CapitaMalls Asia, families can park themselves all weekend long within the many floors of these shopping complexes and never run out of things to keep the active young ones occupied.

We Welcome Families at..

Plaza Singapura
68, Orchard Road Singapore 238839
Tel: (65) 6332 9298
Operating Hours: 10 am to 10 pm daily

IMM
2 Jurong East Street 21 Singapore 609601
Tel : (65) 6665 8288
Operating Hours: 10 am to 10 pm daily

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