INDIANAPOLIS and NEW YORK, Aug. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Simon and Refinery29 announced The Shopping Block, an experiential fashion marketplace inspired by the millennial approach to shopping. The first-ever collaboration between the fashion and retail powerhouses will bring Refinery29 into the physical world of retail at six premier Simon shopping centers across the U.S. in September and October. The Shopping Block will offer consumer touch-points around fashion, discovery, and community.
In a recent study by Refinery29, millennial women of all ages and income groups expressed how online, mobile, and social elements all play a critical role in how they shop, often merging their online and in-person experiences. As a reflection of those shopping preferences, Refinery29 and Simon created custom activations that marry the digital and physical experiences together and maximize the social aspects of both.
The Shopping Block—with an event design inspired by modernist artists such as Donald Judd and Dan Flavin, as well as the art and architecture of Marfa, Texas—will provide a variety of features that appeal to the millennial audience, including:
- Indie Boutiques + National Brands: Refinery29 and Simon will invite indie boutiques with local reach and relevance to participate in The Shopping Block. This will create an interplay between the native, in-market shopping experiences and the very best national retail brands, all within the mall landscape.
- Stylist Concierge: The Shopping Block attendees will receive curated style guides that highlight fall’s biggest trends, and where to shop them at Simon retailers.
- Guest Hosts: At each event, city insiders—chosen from local tastemakers in style, fashion and lifestyle industries—will act as hosts.
- Sweepstakes: Shoppers can participate in a digital sweepstakes at the event for a chance to win retail prizes, valued at a minimum of $1,000, from Simon premier retailers.
- Beauty Bars: Makeup artists will be on-hand at pop-up beauty bars to give shoppers mini makeovers, and share the latest beauty tips from the experts at Refinery29.
- DIY Station: The Shopping Block guests will have an opportunity to personalize tote bags, taking inspiration from Fall 2014 runway trends.
Event locations and dates:
- Woodbury Common Premium Outlets – Central Valley, NY, 9/13
- King of Prussia Mall – King of Prussia, PA, 9/20
- Southshore Plaza – Braintree, MA, 9/27
- Dadeland Mall – Miami, FL, 10/4
- Houston Premium Outlets – Cypress, TX, 10/11
- Brea Mall – Brea, CA, 10/18
“We are always looking for ways to build connections with consumers that provide exciting experiences of shopping and discovery,” said Mikael Thygesen, Chief Marketing Officer of Simon. “We know that fashion drives many of our shopper interactions. Simon and Refinery29’s collaboration elevates our incredible fashion assets and enables new levels of engagement by creating experiences that reflect the way millennials shop and explore fashion across multiple channels.”
The Shopping Block experience will be enhanced by editorial posts on Refinery29, including a “Found at the Mall” photo series showcasing the street style sensibility of shoppers who visit The Shopping Block. The events will be supported through co-branded banners on Refinery29 and promotions on Refinery29 and Simon social channels, Simon’s style blog at stylesetter.simon.com and at simon.com/shoppingblock. Additionally, millennials are encouraged to share their Shopping Block experiences and discoveries using the hashtags #TheShoppingBlock and #foundatsimon.
“Refinery29 has always been rooted in shopping and discovery, and is a champion of independent thinking and true personal style,” said Piera Gelardi, Creative Director, Refinery29. “Refinery29’s audience of millennial women turns to us as a trusted digital source of inspiration and they visit Simon shopping centers for a tangible, tactile experience. The Shopping Block is a perfect marriage of both worlds.”
Simon is a global leader in retail real estate ownership, management, and development, and a S&P100 company (Simon Property Group, NYSE: SPG). Our industry-leading retail properties and investments across North America, Europe, and Asia provide shopping experiences for millions of consumers every day and generate billions in annual retail sales. For more information, visit simon.com.
Refinery29 is the largest independent style website in the United States and the fastest growing media company on the 2013 Inc. 500 list. Through its 24/7 original editorial content, global and local newsletters, and engaged social community, Refinery29 inspires millennial women to live a more mindful, artful and enlightened life. Refinery29 is based in New York, NY and has raised $30.4 million in funding from Stripes Group, FLOODGATE, First Round, Hearst Corporate, Lerer Ventures, Eastern Capital, and more.
Data was uncovered in the first installment of Refinery29’s Her Brain on Digital insights series. The two-part study began with a qualitative research component, fielded by The Futures Company, which led 10 in-home immersion sessions and a series of one-on-one interviews across Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco in April 2014. Then, with research partner Db5, Refinery29 surveyed over 1,100 women ages 18-49 online as well as Refinery29 readers.