The Beverly Center might deck the halls for Christmas, but it unfurls its biggest promotions for Lunar New Year next month.
“Lunar New Year has become a major holiday within the United States,” said Marketing Director Susan Vance, who introduced the holiday to the mall in 2013. Celebrated in China, South Korea, Vietnam and other Asian countries as the year’s most significant milestone, the event is a time of gift-giving and festivities that many L.A. shopping centers have embraced.
For the Beverly Center, it’s a chance to show solidarity with Asian and Asian American communities – locals and tourists alike – while boosting sales after the holidays, said Vance. Last year, tourist visitor numbers to Los Angeles County from China jumped 13 percent over the previous year, bringing in 779,000 people.
To encourage heavy shopping throughout February, the Beverly Center will offer $25 gift cards to customers who buy more than $500 on a single day, and $50 gift cards to those who spend more than $1,000. In addition, visitors will be able to leave notes at a “wishing tree” decorated with coins, lanterns and ribbons – symbols of luck, joy and prosperity. They will be encouraged to share photos on Facebook, Instagram and Chinese social media platforms Weibo and WeChat. Actors Harry Shum Jr. and Janel Parris, both of Asian descent, will share their New Year wishes at an event there Feb. 4.
Citadel Outlets in Commerce will bring in more than 40 dancers and artists from the Los Angeles Chinese Cultural Center on Feb. 6 to perform in a plaza festooned with red and gold lanterns surrounding a Chinese pagoda. Shoppers who proclaim “Happy New Year” in Chinese – “xin nian kuai le” or “gong xi fa cai” – at the customer service center will receive red envelopes stuffed with gift cards and store discounts.
– Daina Beth Solomon