Westfield decks its halls for holiday seasonWritten by Autumn Lee | | firstname.lastname@example.org
As the holiday shopping season begins, Westfield Franklin Park’s retailers are preparing for busy shoppers seeking hot items and even hotter bargains.
At Westfield, customers can buy gifts, cards, gift-wrap with a donation, bags and stocking stuffers, Marketing Director Sara Young said.
For those seeking electronic gifts, several options are available.
A new interactive game station area located near the J.C. Penney wing features Nintendo’s new game console, “Wii.”
Each of the area’s six stations allows customers to use the interactive control for Wii games including “Zelda,” “Excite Truck,” “Duck Hunt,” “Bowling,” “Boxing” and “Tennis.”
At the electronics store Brookstone, Young said a popular item is a digital picture frame, which can store a digital image instead of a traditional photo.
For those who have everything, Young said a possible gift choice could be $40 gourmet-cooking classes offered at Williams-Sonoma.
Sunglass Hut, which opened about a month ago, offers more than 1,500 sunglasses in more than a dozen brands.
Store manager Jeff Stultz said, “Sunglasses are not just for protecting your eyes anymore.”
Popular styles this season include large plastics reminiscent of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, updated aviators and shields, which consist of one large lens with a gradient tint, he said.
“Just because we live in Toledo doesn’t mean we can’t look like we live in California,” Stultz said.
“346” Brooks Brothers -offers men and women in their 20s and 30s a casual and sportswear collection.
For a “hip and young” feel, H & M features mostly women’s clothing, but also some clothing for men and children at affordable prices, Young said.
Vanity, another new clothing store, specializes in jeans that have established a solid fan base.
Store manager Amy Pixler said, “Once we get a style in, we can’t keep them in stock.”
Westfield’s newest shoe store for women, “Shï,” will be open just prior to the holidays, Young said.
Sports fans may want to venture to Sports Zone, located in the J.C. Penney wing of the mall.
Three new accessory stores — Aldo Accessories, Jule and For Love 21 — each have a different atmosphere and type of style, she said.
“Accessories are hot this year,” Young said.
At Jule, Young noted a “Make a Wish” necklace that is worn until its wears off. When it wears out, the patron’s wish is “supposed to come true.”
Chief merchandising officer for Jule, Renee Ongaro, said the women’s accessory boutique has products ranging from about $10 up to $700.
“Our concept is that we have something for every fashion-conscious woman,” Ongaro said.
Personalizing gifts is also popular this season, Young said.
Things Remembered provides personalization for virtually all their products including stockings, pens and ornaments, she said.
Jos. A. Bank, a men’s clothing store, provides monogram services.
Westfield’s newest jewelry store, Andrews Jewelers, has a newer version of the three-stone necklaces that represented the past, present and future.
General manager Joe Youssef said while that style of jewelry is still popular, a line by De Beers called “The Journey” permits customers to add additional stones to a necklace based on pivotal moments in their life.
Those interested in capturing memories through photography can check out the Picture People studio.
Senior manager Amanda Gannon said they photograph all ages and even pets.
Gannon said Picture People has a variety of props and special finishing effects available for its customers.
A highly detailed section in the Macy’s wing with interactive windows that play sounds and music has been set up for pictures with Santa.
“Everywhere you look at the Santa Set there is something that will catch your eye,” Young said.
While the majority of Westfield’s newest salon, Trade Secret, displays hair and beauty products in the front of the store, three salon stations in the back provide complete hair services.
At Trade Secret, Young pointed out a purple hair dryer with white polka dots customers may want to purchase.
For customers who want to pick up some gift cards, they can purchase them at the Concierge Desk in the Food Court next to Borders or at a holiday remote Concierge Desk soon to be located in the J.C. Penney wing. Other services at the desks include directions to mall stores, complimentary balloons and general information.
Westfield’s newest restaurant, the Elephant Bar, offers a $5 dining card with every $25 purchase.
General Manager Steve Miller said the Elephant Bar is “a dining adventure” with a menu selection of more than 95 items from burgers to Pan-Asian to jambalaya. Elephant Bar’s unique round bar features a mainline selection and frozen specialty drinks.
Westfield has a new service for parents who need someone to supervise their children while they are at the mall beginning Nov. 21.
In the mezzanine level in center court, the Hour Backyard Drop-In Child Care allows parents to drop off their children ages 3 to 11 with an attendant (or multiple attendants depending on the number of children) for a maximum of four hours.
Customers can drop off their children while they shop, but must remain on the Westfield premises, Young said.
During the holiday season, this service also helps parents keep their gift purchases a secret from their children while they do their shopping, she said.
According to one of the Hour Backyard owners, Amanda Peppers, their staff is trained in CPR, first aid, child abuse awareness and common childhood illnesses. Parents register their children only once and their information stays on file. Rates start at $6.50 per hour for the first child with an additional $3 per child. Children have access to toys, video games, videos and some art supplies.
Westfield will be closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas. The day after Thanksgiving, stores will be open at 6 a.m. with some department stores opening between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m.
For more information, visit westfield.com/franklinpark.