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Oxford Properties Path to Launching In-Demand Pop-Culture Experiences

Last month McMillanDoolittle launched Retail Innovations 2023, our annual publication featuring cutting edge retail concepts from around the world. In this #ThemeThursday innovation feature, we highlight Canadian real estate firm Oxford Properties for their creative use of vacant retail spaces to bring fan favorite fictional worlds to life using interactive and socially-driven pop-ups. Contact us for a consultation on creating a memorable and differentiated customer experience for your business.

In the wake of the pandemic-related mandated retail closures and mall vacancies, Canadian foot traffic languished and made it more difficult to attract new tenants.  Leading Canadian shopping center operator Oxford Properties explored innovative solutions to rapidly drive traffic back to their tired spaces by combining the retail pop-up format with immersive pop-culture moments.

The launches of “The World of Barbie,” and “The Friends Experience” resulted in early successes for Oxford Property.  These immersive retail activations were installed at two of the most profitable malls in Canada: Square One and Yorkdale.

The fictional worlds sold exclusive merchandise and trained employees to facilitate memorable experiences and capture content appropriate for social media – driving awareness and boosting overall traffic. By necessity, the pop-ups provided a great way to fill vacancies, increase revenue, and engage employees and customers alike in physical stores.


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To learn more about the pop-up experiences from Oxford Properties and other innovative new retail concepts highlighted in Retail Innovations 2023, download the latest edition of our annual report here.

You can follow along as we highlight case studies on #ThemeThursday in the weeks to come.  We invite you to join in on the conversation by commenting or messaging us on our Instagram account. There, you can get more immersed in interactive content surrounding this year’s retail innovations.

Ava Buechel

Ava provides market and consumer research, planning, and analysis support for McMillanDoolittle retail consulting projects. Her experience in marketing, digital transformation, brand strategy, and retail innovation brings an updated perspective in the fast-paced business climate of today.

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