For the first time ever in San Diego, Donahue Schriber, a REIT and owner of the Del Mar Highlands Town Center in Del Mar, California, has installed a series of holiday attractions at the retail center designed to entertain and attract customers, according to a representative of the company. Created by Shine Illumination, the free-to-experience installations drive traffic by creating an interactive and photographable experience, the rep says.
According to a release from the rep, the installation, which features more than 339,000 lights, debuted during a “sip & stroll” event last weekend that offered its several hundred visitors refreshments, snacks, and live music.
The statement says the theme of the shopping center’s installations is an “immersive winter wonderland” titled #TisTheSeaSun to represent the San Diego climate along with the Christmas season. Shine Illumination designed and installed several attractions throughout the center under this theme, including a 40-foot-long #TisTheSeaSun sign; a 15-foot-tall sandcastle snowman next to Santa’s oversized chair; an igloo for the kids to play in, complete with penguin graffiti; surfing penguins powered by animatronics on the escalator roof; a 10-foot-tall bobblehead penguin with levers to pull; a family of oversized starfish; and a chubby lifeguard penguin with zinc on its nose.
According to the rep, “What Shine is doing for retail centers is a really interesting approach to keep brick-and-mortar retail alive because, after all, it’s the experiences that people want. We live in a world where everything needs to be photographable and people thirst for experiences and Instagramable moments.”
In addition to Christmas/winter installations, Shine (run by former Disney prop designers) creates installations for other occasions, including pop-up museums in empty big boxes, huge 4th of July “firework forests,” and oversized heart displays for Valentine’s Day, the rep reports. The Del Mar Highlands Town Center installation will be up through Dec. 31.
According to Bruce Brenon, founder of Shine Illumination, approximately 700 people visited the retail center during the hours of the event, the rep tells SoCal Real Estate. The sip & stroll, which also generated considerable foot traffic into each store on the stroll list, was basically a scavenger hunt: guests were tasked with visiting each store/restaurant, where they’d learn about the retailers’ sales and receive a glass of wine or a candy cane or a sample of the establishment’s food.
The source says, according to Brenon, it’s all in the name of driving experiences and creating destinations at retail centers. See below for a slideshow of the installation pieces.