The ‘Live Happy' slogan (grammatically incorrect, but we get the point) kicked off "a new era" at Cityplaza that focuses on one simple mission, according to Alvin Kong, director of retail at the mall's owner, Swire Properties. “We want our customers to discover simple pleasures at Cityplaza and appreciate quality time out from the hustle and bustle of urban life,” he said.
Cityplaza's new logo, designed in the crisp simplicity of a black and grey typeface, is watermarked in a series of thematic print advertisements featuring scenes of families and friends doing various "happy activities".
Following the HK$100 million (US$12.9 million) upgrade to enhance the interior design of Cityplaza, the shopping mall has introduced new tenants that include Homeless, Eslite Spectrum, Massimo Dutti and Furla. Adidas also launched a new concept store, together with the addition of trendy (trendier) sports fashion brands Under Armour and d2r.
The last renovation of the mall, which originally opened in 1983, was in 2001. Local residents are Cityplaza's core customers, with tourists accounting for less than 3 per cent of shoppers, said Elizabeth Kok, retail portfolio director for Swire Properties.
As part of the kickoff, the mall transformed its ice skating rink into a giant ball pit for three days—symbolic of the "simple happy lifestyle Cityplaza offers", said Alexis Chiu, managing director of Saatchi & Saatchi South China, whose team was tasked with the rebranding project.
The upgrade in the "mall hardware" (the environment and retailers) to keep the brand vibrant and contemporary, complemented with rebranding of the "mall software" (the branding) is nothing new in the retail industry, but is a response to a changing customer mix that is getting younger, said Chiu. People are demanding a more "varietal lifestyle at the mall, and not solely shopping", he said.
Compared to high-end malls in Central and Causeway Bay, Cityplaza is positioned to remind shoppers of the little simplicities of life and go back to the basics of shopping, which is really a conduit activity for spending time with family and friends, he explained.