Shopping during the Christmas season: ECE is expanding its “Heavenly Service” to over 100 centers in five countries

Even more offers and small gifts for a relaxed and atmospheric shopping experience

ECE has once again significantly expanded its Christmas season service campaign, “Heavenly Service,” this year. In more than one hundred ECE-operated shopping centers in Germany, Italy, Austria, Poland, and the Czech Republic, numerous additional service offers with an even greater number of service employees and even more small gifts are making Christmas shopping as easy, pleasant, and convenient as possible for customers. The offers range from a gift-wrapping service to mobile seating to service employees who serve as Christmas pages, providing customers with information, bringing their purchases to their car, distributing small gifts or directing customers in the car park to the next free parking space.

“Particularly during the Christmas season, we completely rely on the strengths of brick-and-mortar retail: A good service offer, an atmospheric ambiance, and a convenient shopping experience,” says Joanna Fisher, ECE Head of Center Management. “That is why we are not only decorating the center with our elaborate Christmas decorations, but also offering customers numerous additional offers with our ‘Heavenly Service,’ which enables a relaxed Christmas shopping experience even at wintry temperatures, in crowded shops, and with heavy shopping bags.”

From the car park director to the chocolate Santa: The following figures illustrate the large variety of additional Christmas offers that make up the “Heavenly Service” in the ECE centers: 

  • Approximately 4,000 service employees will be deployed in over one hundred participating centers – for example, at the customer information desk, as concierges, car park director, for wrapping gifts, and as hostesses or pages.
  • Approximately 170 Santas and 700 angels will be working in the centers during the Christmas season.
  • Over 1.7 million high-quality chocolates, chocolate Santas, and bags of roasted almonds await customers as small gifts – again, significantly more than last year.
  • A total of approximately 55,000 gifts are expected to be wrapped for customers. To accomplish this, a total of over 544,000 feet of wrapping paper and approximately 420,000 feet of ribbon will be used.
  • Approximately 500 mobile reclining chairs offer customers additional opportunities for a short breather during their Christmas shopping.

Additional “Heavenly Services” ensure a particularly convenient arrival and departure, even in wintry weather: For example, pages will accompany customers who park on the upper parking level with umbrellas so that they can stay dry while going their cars. In centers with especially large parking areas, shuttle services with golf carts will be available to transport customers to their cars. We even take care of personal advent greetings: At photo stations with instant printing, customers can create and send personalized Christmas cards.

ECE uses the “Heavenly Service” campaign to provide even more convenience, a high-quality visitor experience, and a personal shopping and service experience for customers – factors that make brick-and-mortar retail stand out from online shopping. ECE is focusing completely on service and customer orientation even after the Christmas season is over: In order to continue increasing customer satisfaction, ECE is expanding and optimizing its entire service offering on all aspects of shopping with the “At Your Service” initiative. For this, approximately €190 million are being invested in the service quality of up to 60 centers over the next few years.

As part of this, the service offers in the centers will be individually analyzed and optimized – from signage, lighting, and the installation of parking space vacancy displays in the car park to high-quality lounge corners, upgraded customer restrooms, and improved guidance in the center. With the desired level of success: The “At Your service” pilot project at the Alstertal-Einkaufszentrum (AEZ) has increased customer satisfaction even further. Currently, 84% of customers rate the service offer in AEZ as “good” or “very good” (instead of 70% before “At Your Service” was implemented). Two thirds of customers believe that the shopping experience at AEZ has improved as a result of “At Your Service.” Overall satisfaction with center is just under 90%.