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Westfield Corp., an Australian-based shopping center group, has hired DDB Needham Worldwide, Los Angeles, to extend its successful "down under" branding formula to the U.S.

In Australia, all Westfield malls carry the corporate name and are known as "shopping towns" that are marketed nationally. Westfield now plans to do the same in the U.S., where malls traditionally are marketed individually.

All the company's 38 U.S. malls will be renamed to include the Westfield name. For example, its West County Center in St. Louis, will be renamed Westfield Shopping Town, West County, said Randy Smith, VP-marketing.

"We plan to use an economy of scale for more marketing penetration and impact, which will give us a lot more clout compared with the competition," he said.

Westfield is the fourth-largest mall owner in the U.S., with malls in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Missouri, New York, North Carolina and Washington.

The $5 million account previously was at Foote, Cone & Belding, Los Angeles. The third finalist in the review was D.B. Fox & Friends, Los Angeles.

Mr. Smith said the group attempts to provide "Nordstrom-like customer service" by having employees such as janitors and security guards help visitors find a store and even individually walk them over to the shop. Other perks include carlike strollers for children.

The formula has been successful in Australia, an industry executive said. "They are one of the most successful companies in the shopping center industry in terms of being able to brand their centers," said John Konarski, VP-research at the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Mr. Smith said DDB Needham will develop a strategic plan for the centers,

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