According to Kendra Lounsbury, the Seaside Outlets’ busiest time is the summer, but a close second is the holidays. A time of shopping and Santa, trimming and wrapping.
This is also Kendra’s busiest time. As the outlet’s Assistant Manager for General Operations and Marketing Manager, Kendra works to ensure the stores’ holiday promotions, deals and special hours are known and utilized by the public.
She says with twenty-six different companies and twenty-six different marketing strategies, finding the best way to meet the needs of her customers isn’t easy, “I need to get my stores information into the hands of customers in tailoring promotional events.”
Kendra says they are competing with the online market as well, so highlighting the ‘in person’ experience is key. The mall draws in customers with giveaways, special events and of course, in store deals.
Last year, according to Reuters, online holiday shoppers spent $108 billion dollars. And although online shopping numbers are growing, the experience of picking the perfect gift while shopping for deals under lights and tinsel is still preferred. In 2018, overall holiday shoppers spent almost 85% of their dollars in store. Kendra says customers from all over the county and up and down the coast, come to shop the outlets for the holidays. The outlets offer the uniqueness of “One stop shopping,” she explains.
Kenda is in charge of the outlet’s holiday events too, all of which benefit the community.
Holiday gift-wrapping at the outlets is a way to stay ahead of the holiday bustle and tasks. As you purchase deals during December, you can take them to be wrapped by a local non profit for under the tree. Beginning on December 1st and continuing on most nights and weekends during the season, visit the outlet for paper and bows. The gift wrapping is free, but the organizations manning the service keep donations from shoppers for their cause. The Seaside track team, youth groups, and others raising money wrapping and decorating packages in Suite 212 at the mall. “This is the holiday headquarters,” Kendra explains, this is where Santa sets up too.
Santa is the top attraction in December, as families bring kids to snap a picture and share their wish list. Santa is scheduled on December 14th and 15th from 11:00 AM-4:00 PM. He will also be ready for guests on the evening of the 18th from 4:00 PM-7:00 PM. “We know not everybody has weekends off and we want everyone to be able to see Santa,” Kendra explains. And anyone can, Kendra says Seaside Outlets accepts donations for photos, but that isn’t the point. “We don’t turn anyone away, if you need a picture for grandma and grandpa too, we will print what you need.” Donations from the Santa pictures go toward the Seaside Outlets’ Adopt-a-Family recipients. “That is the best reward,” Kendra says. “Being able to provide for the families, we love giving back to the community.”
This holiday spirit is what makes a trip to the Seaside Outlets a special event this winter season. Between deals and promotions and the events planned by Staci Miethe, the organization’s manager and Kendra Lounsbury, it is well worth a drive down Highway 101.