Parkland Mall will be filled with local vendors selling products later this month as a part of the second annual Mall Street event.
Krista Dunstan, marketing director at Parkland Mall, said the idea behind Mall Street was to bring in local home-based businesses to come in and sell their products within the mall.
“It’s like an indoor market. There are lots of fun things that people can come to look at and buy as part of their Christmas shopping,” said Dunstan.
Products sold at Mall Street must be made within Central Alberta which gives buyers an opportunity to support truly local businesses.
Dunstan said last year’s event had a great selection of vendors including jewelry, paintings, cookies, teas and many other items.
“We are a community-friendly mall and we want to support local business and get them some exposure. We enjoy supporting the community.”
She said this was just one more way to add another local aspect to the mall and said the retailers love it too as they get to walk up and down the tables and see what people can buy.
This year’s event will have 15 different vendors, which Dunstan said is slightly down from last year due to a date conflict with a trade-show in Lethbridge which some vendors chose to attend.
“We may have to review the dates for next year. The reason we chose this weekend is because it’s Small Business Week, but if it’s going to coincide with another show we don’t want that. We still want people to be able to choose where they want to go, or do both if they’d like.”
The trade show runs Oct. 17-20 during mall hours.
As a second component to the trade show, the public is invited to vote on their favourite vendor.
“The winning vendor then gets two months of space in the mall which provides them further exposure within the community.”
The Mall Street program has been recognized as a finalist for a shopping centre award in Canada.
“They’re called the Maple Leaf Awards and all major developers submit their marketing ideas they’ve had in the last year. Mall Street was picked as one of the finalists.”
Dunstan said Mall Street is a unique idea that ties in the local community and provides Parkland Mall’s special leasing department an opportunity to invite vendors in to the mall.
“My co-worker who does all the cart space in the mall, she has her department trained to lease those carts. This program allows her to go meet with the vendors as potential renters for those spaces.”
She said the opportunity to rent the cart spaces is a great one for local businesses as it provides them a leg up in the business world and increases their traffic around their products.