Polaris Fashion Place

Siddall earned the Polaris Fashion Place account by quickly realizing that Columbus, Ohio, is “mall city.” While not the city’s official nickname, Columbus does have a large number of malls with basically parody store directories. None of them featured upscale stores commonly found in larger markets. Glimcher Properties, Polaris’ parent company, saw this as an opportunity to build a 1.5 million sq. ft. mall with such anchors as Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Upon winning the business, the agency faced two goals: Raise awareness sufficiently enough to ensure a strong opening and carry the mall’s upscale, competitive edge into the holiday season. Research showed the target demo considered themselves either upper income or, at least, on their way there. By sharing with potential shoppers a dozen attributes Polaris could truthfully claim, benefit testing proved our audience was more excited about the opportunity to shop unique, upscale stores previously unavailable to them, than great deals. Equally excited was Siddall’s creative team, which translated the research into the whole notion of “Fresh Shopping.” Advertising positioned Polaris as having a selection other malls couldn’t touch. To demonstrate this “freshness,” a green blouse became a crisp garden salad and a necklace was transformed into a parfait in the magazine ads. The TV spot was set at a deli counter. Media included local and cable programming catering to women viewing daytime and lifestyle-oriented shows, as well as print vehicles covering similar topics. Outdoor and newspaper ads proclaimed what Polaris offered and when it would finally open.

Even coming on the heels of 9/11, the opening was remarkably successful with sales figures exceeding expectations. And two months later, holiday sales figures were way beyond estimate. Even Lord & Taylor was pleasantly surprised to announce that during the 2001 holiday season, their brand new Polaris store ranked sixth among their 84 other established locations.

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