Shangri-La Plaza cel­e­brates Christ­mas & 25 years of suc­cess

The Philippine Star - - SUNDAY LIFESTYLE - By TANYA T. LARA

This Christ­mas is ex­tra spe­cial for the Shang as it kicks off the mall’s 25th an­niver­sary next year with a raf­fle giv­ing away trips to Paris, Lon­don, Van­cou­ver, Sydney, Dubai, Tokyo, Sin­ga­pore, Beijing, Shang­hai and Bo­ra­cay – and ac­com­mo­da­tion at Shangri-La Ho­tels and round-trip tick­ets via Cathay Pa­cific for the in­ter­na­tional des­ti­na­tions.

It’s a cheer­ful, fab­u­lous Christ­mas at Shangri-La Plaza with the beau­ti­ful East Wing and Main Wing decked out in gor­geous dec­o­ra­tions and the sounds of sym­phonies and chil­dren’s choirs waft­ing in the air.

In the past two decades, the Shang has al­ways dis­tin­guished it­self as the mall that truly em­braces the sea­son with el­e­gant dé­cor and events that make you feel the spirit and warmth of the hol­i­days.

Shangri-La Plaza EVP and gen­eral man­ager Lala Fojas says, “This year, we went for a tra­di­tional Christ­mas theme, the en­tire mall is filled with Christ­mas balls, poin­set­tia, berries, pine cones and crys­tals. In the past we’ve had themes such as Polar Bears and Christ­mas in Won­der­land.”

Lala adds that the essence of Christ­mas at the Shang has al­ways re­mained “a tra­di­tion for the fam­ily to enjoy their time here to­gether. We al­ways make sure it re­in­forces fam­ily bond­ing. From the of­fer­ings that we have, each mem­ber of the fam­ily will find some­thing that will make Christ­mas more mem­o­rable for them. And for a break in their Christ­mas shop­ping and af­ter watch­ing the con­certs, we have F&B out­lets where they can get to­gether with fam­ily and friends.”

The Shang is truly a one-stop mall for all your Christ­mas gifts, whether it’s a year-end treat for one’s self or for fam­ily and friends. The mall has ap­prox­i­mately 630 stores to choose from in­clud­ing high-end brands like Gucci and Givenchy to lo­cal fa­vorites

like Bench and F&H, and the multi-brand Rus­tan’s Depart­ment Store.

You can also do your noche buena shop­ping at Rus­tan’s Su­per­mar­ket or the var­i­ous delis and kiosks that of­fer spe­cialty foods, and or­der from restau­rants to add to your home-cooked feast. And to make shop­ping eas­ier there’s the year-round valet ser­vice in front of the Main Wing’s two en­trances.

This Christ­mas — more than any other year — is ex­tra spe­cial for the Shang as it kicks off the mall’s 25th an­niver­sary next year with a grand raf­fle promo giv­ing away trips for two to Paris, Lon­don, Van­cou­ver, Sydney, Dubai, Tokyo, Sin­ga­pore, Beijing, Shang­hai and Bo­ra­cay. What’s unique about this promo is that apart from Shang pro­vid­ing the air­fare, it also pro­vides ac­com­mo­da­tion at Shangri-La Ho­tels. Cathay Pa­cific is the of­fi­cial air­line part­ner for its in­ter­na­tional des­ti­na­tions.

So when Lala says that “Christ­mas is one con­tin­u­ous event for the whole month of De­cem­ber,” it ac­tu­ally ex­tends to sum­mer 2016, when the win­ners will be an­nounced in April. (De­tails in the next page.)

Dur­ing our chat with Lala, we rem­i­nisced about the Shang when it opened in 1991 and how it was pi­o­neer­ing in terms of de­sign (it re­mains the only mall with re­volv­ing doors and ex­press es­ca­la­tors) and at­mos­phere — truly the first up­scale mall of its kind to open in Manila. And yet, the Shang has also evolved with the times in the past 25 years, ex­pand­ing its mar­ket and re­defin­ing the malling ex­pe­ri­ence for ev­ery­one.

“We were the first one to po­si­tion and iden­tify our­selves with the up­scale mar­ket and we’ve al­ways val­ued the safety and se­cu­rity of our cus­tomers,” says Lala. “We pi­o­neered so many things, like the sniff­ing dogs as an added se­cu­rity fea­ture. Then when we did the re­zon­ing of the stores — we were the first one to put our din­ing fa­cil­i­ties on the top­most floors, which no­body dared to do be­cause be­fore, din­ing was al­ways on the lower lev­els. But we knew it was a good com­ple­ment to our cine­mas. We had The Ledge, which was the sixth-floor din­ing, and then we put restau­rants on all lev­els.

Shang also pi­o­neered com­muter-friendly “street shop fronts,” which are the stores on EDSA and Shaw sides of the mall that cater to the com­muter mar­ket. Th­ese are the shops that peo­ple ba­si­cally pick up things from on the way home or to the of­fice; we made it more con­ve­nient for them when they have to buy, say, medicines from Mer­cury Drug­store or a quick snack at 7-11.

On the din­ing side, Shang also pi­o­neered the Streetscap­e with tents and al fresco din­ing; and med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties like Amer­i­can Eye Cen­ter, which had its first branch at the Shang. In the ear­lier years Shang had en­ter­tain­ment mu­se­ums like Ri­p­ley’s Be­lieve it or Not.

When I was liv­ing in Que­zon City, I re­mem­ber Sun­days at the Shang just hang­ing out or watch­ing a mati­nee of Reper­tory Philip­pines when they had their home at the Wil­liam J. Shaw Theater on the top floor.

To­day , look­ing at the mall, you re­al­ize it hasn’t only evolved with the times – it has ac­tu­ally helped change peo­ple’s life­styles and gave them bet­ter choices.

“The essence of Christ­mas at the Shang has al­ways re­mained ‘a tra­di­tion for the fam­ily to en­joy their time here to­gether,’” says Shangri-La Plaza EVP and gen­eral man­ager Lala Fo­jas.

The spirit and sights of Christ­mas: Shangri-La Plaza goes back to tra­di­tional dec­o­ra­tions this year to trig­ger a sense of nos­tal­gia. The en­tire mall is filled with Christ­mas balls, poin­set­tia, berries, pine cones and crys­tals.

All your shop­ping at the Shang: The mall has ap­prox­i­mately 630 stores in both the Main Wing and East Wing to choose from.

Shangri-La Plaza re­mains the most el­e­gant mall in the coun­try, main­tain­ing its up­mar­ket po­si­tion for the past 25 years and also ex­pand­ing its mar­ket base to cater to the young crowd.

Over the past 25 years, the Shang has pi­o­neered con­cepts that have ben­e­fited both its shoppers and the re­tail in­dus­try, such as be­ing the first to put res­tau­rants at the top floor to go with the cin­e­mas, the use of sniff­ing dogs as an added se­cu­rity...

The sig­na­ture re­volv­ing doors at the Shang

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