Supplied by EPP.

JOHANNESBURG – Shopping centres hold a special place in festive holiday routines worldwide, from sunny South Africa to snowy Poland.

“No matter what you may think (or not think) about shopping malls, they are simply an unbeatable place to be this time of year,” said Hadley Dean,Chief Executive of EPP, Poland’s largest owner of shopping centres, which is listed on the stock exchanges in Johannesburg (JSE) and Luxembourg (Euro MTF).

Hadley puts this down to the experience and delight that only shopping centres can offer.

The sights: malls do decorations in a spectacular manner. Management spends a great deal of time and effort creating a festive environment crafted to put you in a good mood, and it works. Even better is that, like snowflakes, no two centres are decorated exactly the same.

The sounds: head to your local shopping centre where you are guaranteed they will be playing holiday tunes; there may even be live performances.

The taste: Food and beverage have become a critical point in modern shopping malls, with a larger variety of places to meet, eat, socialised and enjoy. The holidays bring that out even more with pop up stands to offer speciality beverages, chocolates and all the delights we allow ourselves this time of year.

The comradery: The holidays are notorious for making people feel lonely, but there is one place where you certainly won’t be alone: your local mall. If you like to be part of something whether it’s the entertainment, a shopping rush for the same item, or the general festive spirit, the mall is a great place to visit.

Entertainment: Today’s shopping centres are becoming destinations, not just places to buy. This means there is a serious increase in entertainment offerings and no time of year is this more evident than during the holidays.

New ideas: Head to your local shopping centre where each store in addition to the mall itself will be decked out for the holidays. You will get myriad ideas.

Up your gift giving game: Sure, you could surf the Internet, but you cannot be sure of the result. Colours, textures, and certainly tastes can’t be gathered through a mouse and a screen. So, if you want to get that special someone the right gift, it’s important to touch and see it. There is no better place to do this than your local mall. 

The weather: Whether its Poland’s cold wind and snow, or South Africa’s scorching hot sun, you can get a festive atmosphere in a gorgeous climate-controlled environment at your local mall. It's everything you want under one roof with none of the bad weather.

The variety: The very nature of shopping centres means there is something for everyone.

The holiday spirit: The sights, the sounds, the tastes, the entertainment, the people, all of these things mingle together under one roof at a shopping centre to create that X-factor we call the holiday spirit. If you feel like you are having trouble switching gears and getting into the swing of things this holiday, try heading to the local mall, grab a cup of cocoa, listen to the music, and soak in the decorations.

Supplied by EPP Poland