For the past few years, fourth-semester Fashion Arts & Business diploma program students in the Global Retail Operations course have collaborated with Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre (part of Ivanhoe Cambridge) to create a real-world project. This semester, students delivered excellence despite the challenges of online learning and no visits to the shopping centre.
With brick and mortar retail facing difficulties from increased online shopping due to the pandemic, students were asked to research consumer behaviour, retail trends and the mall target customers. The research was then used to create a retail concept involving a product or service that provides an immersive customer experience - a concept that the shopping centre’s Specialty Leasing could implement in the future.
Many concepts were created, revised and reworked as each group strived to find a formula that would win over Vaughan Mill’s support. Every concept required articulation and research - drawing on knowledge from previous semesters to think like retail consultants. Each group was also required to create a specific visual presentation, layout plans, marketing initiatives and customer experiences to support their virtual sales pitch to the mall.
Specialty Leasing Manager Mina Cisternino, Fashion Arts and Business Program Coordinator Jennifer Reitano and Professor Anna Zamparo evaluated each group based on their presentation skills, PowerPoint quality and concept feasibility. The panel was excited about the ideas and enthusiasm. Mina expressed that every group created a unique concept that could be incorporated into the shopping centre’s portfolio. The winning concepts received a certificate entitled ‘2021 Experiential Business Concept Achievement Award’ that will become a valuable recognition component for the students’ portfolios.
Thank you to Jennifer Reitano and Anna Zamparo for bringing this experiential learning opportunity to students!