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Property Lines - Scott Olson

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Real Estate & Retail

Backlash causes Simon to reverse course on Santa glacier display

November 9, 2015

Simon Property Group Inc.’s new “Glacier Santa Experience”—rolled out at a few malls this holiday season—went over like a lump of coal.

The Indianapolis-based mall owner already has taken down at least three of the displays in favor of more traditional Christmas trees after the glacier received a chilly reception.

An online petition at change.org calling for the removal of the glacier tallied more than 20,000 signatures as of Sunday.

Simon has ditched the glacier displays at SouthPark mall in Charlotte, North Carolina; Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, New York; and Westchester Mall in White Plains, New York, according to media reports.

According to some reports, Simon had planned to use the glacier displays in a total of six malls, Simon Senior Executive Vice President David Contis said in an e-mailed statement to IBJ.

"In six of our nearly 200 malls, Simon had developed a new Santa experience," he said. "It was our intention to experiment with delivering a modern interactive experience for the family.  After listening to customer feedback, we immediately decided to reinstall our existing Christmas decor and hope our customers will join us in celebrating the Christmas season."

Some shoppers in Charlotte said the glacier resembled a clam or something out of a Star Trek movie rather than a wintry wonderland.

“We made the decision we're just going to remove them," Contis told the Charlotte Business Journal. “It was an easy decision for us to make.”

See photos of one of the displays at the bottom of this page, courtesy of WBTV in Charlotte.

 

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