Melbourne retailer thinks outside the box

MELBOURNE -- A city pop-up site lures last-minute shoppers in with the promise of a stress-free retail experience.

MELBOURNE -- Christmas Eve is the last day of Christmas shopping and also the last day of “Destressmas”, a temporary pop-up site at the Melbourne Central shopping precinct.

Destressmas is an over sized cube, measuring 4m x 4m, located on level two of Melbourne Central. Frazzled shoppers can come in to this stress-free haven to receive free facial spritzes, cool drinks and hand massages.

There’s even an interactive gift guide, provided on iPads with live access to Melbourne Central’s Facebook page and Twitter feed, keeping shoppers up to date with to-the-minute retail offers.

“A one-stop location for all that’s needed in terms of recuperation, to-do lists, and browsing from the comfort of a peaceful, relaxing zone, is just what shoppers need,” Center Manager Justin Shannon said.

According to IBISWorld, domestic spending in Australia is predicted to be low this Christmas, with around 34% of Australians intending to spend less than they did last year.

“Most growth will be in online shopping, with clothing and footwear, electronics and books being the most popular purchases,” IBISWorld General Manager Ms Karen Doble said.

According to Ms Doble, clothing and footwear will suffer the most with an anticipated meager 2% rise, while men’s clothing may be the only exception as “style and image consciousness continue to be important for many men.”

Like other retail initiatives in the Melbourne community, Destressmas is the Center’s creative response to the tough economic climate and growing trend for consumers to shop online.

“At Melbourne Central, we believe it’s important to introduce initiatives that enhance our customers’ experience; to provide unique retail experiences that inspire and help shoppers," Mr Shannon said.

"Our Destressmes Christmas pop up is a great example of out of the box thinking,” he said. “The pop up provides retailers with a new channel to promote key Christmas product lines and encourages customers to then visit the store to complete the purchase.”

This Christmas, Destressmas could be the salvation for both Melbourne Central’s retailers and last-minute shoppers, but we will probably have to wait until January to measure the pop-up's impact on store sales.

Melbourne Central has close to 300 stores including Crabtree & Evelyn, Kikki K, Hart & Heim, L'Occitane, Rhodes & Beckett and Forever New.

Photo: AMPR

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