Holiday shopping. Some people love the experience, buying with a vengeance, energized by the crowds and the frenzy of finding the perfect gift. Some juggle the task with the greatest of ease. Some clever, albeit annoying souls start – and finish – before Halloween. Some people dread the madness. Others put it off completely until December 24. Most of us fall somewhere in between, having devised our own personal systems of getting it done without spontaneously combusting.
This year, we decided it was time for some new how-tos for tackling holiday shopping. So, we sat down with Colin Moussa, marketing manager of Baybrook Mall, who has survived six holiday seasons in retailing.
The conversation started, and ended, with: Stay calm. Don’t stress out. Shop smart. The holidays are time for fun and family. Planning is the key.”
Here are Colin’s tips to make your shopping easier.
Get organized. Make a list of everyone you plan to buy a gift for, no matter how small the gift might be. Jot down gift ideas. With your list in hand, check the directory of stores online at www.baybrookmall.com. Make a plan for your day. Then, head to Baybrook Mall.
Shop early. Earlier in the week and earlier in the day stores are less crowded and parking spaces are plentiful. Mondays and Tuesdays are traditionally the lightest days. If you’re shopping on the weekend, early is essential with one exception: crowds thin out after seven p.m.
Find an app for that. Smartphone users can download the mall’s free application, The Club Shopping Mall Guide. This mobile app not only saves shoppers money, but also lessens the stress with features such as push notifications for sales at selected stores, a Google® map that helps find the fastest route to the center, live Facebook® feeds, GPS capabilities and more.
Add shopping hours in your day. Take advantage of our extended hours. The closer the days get to Christmas, the longer the mall is open. Check www.baybrookmall.com for times.
Take advantage of amenities. During the day, relax and regroup. There are comfortable seating areas throughout Baybrook Mall. Security has wheelchairs available for shoppers who need a lift. Call 281.488.4620.
Help with packages. When shopping’s done, don’t struggle with getting your packages to the car. Mall security is available to help carry bags and provide an escort to your vehicle. Just call 281.488.4620.
Shop with the kids. With the little ones along, breaks are essential. Stop in the Food Court. Rent a Kiddie Kruzzer to turn a mundane shopping trip into an adventure. Santa’s under the skylight near Apple, if the little guys want to stop and visit. Or maybe you just want to pass by and wave as a subtle reminder that he’s watching.
Don’t run out of energy. With or without the kids, stop to eat. There’s the Food Court for quick bites. For more relaxing fare, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro and The Cheesecake Factory are located in the parking lot near Macy’s. A sit-down dinner or just a slice of cheesecake is a nice reward after a day of shopping well done.
Get in the spirit. Caps & Corks, a wine-and-beer bar, offers wine by the glass, wine-based margaritas, beer and more spirited beverages. Sit and sip. Enjoy a snack, too, as The Cheesecake Factory will deliver food to you.
Gift and go. Pick up a Shop Etc. Mall Gift card at the kiosk near Zales and Ben Bridge. It’s always open.
Stay connected. Baybrook Mall now offers free wifi for shoppers. Just take a minute to join The Club and presto!, you’re connected. Plus take advantage of the mobile phone charging station in the family lounge located in the food court.
“Holiday shopping can be delightful. What a wonderful time to think about friends and family and taking the time surprise them with something special,” says Colin. “Over the years, I have seen plenty of always smiling shoppers and plenty of others having melt-downs. Smiling is the best choice and with a little planning, you can glide through the holidays.”