Touchwood takes off for Christmas

Solihull shopping centre Touchwood is gearing up for the festive season with a host of attractions that will help shoppers, retailers and community groups alike.

Schools from across the region will be taking to the stage in Touchwood this December, in a bid to win £1,000 towards a school project, as the centre’s annual School Choir Competition gets underway. During the competition, the centre’s Map Room will be transformed into a winter wonderland as pupils showcase their singing talents and perform their versions of popular Christmas carols and songs around by Touchwood Christmas tree.

Each choir will be doing their best to get everyone in a merry mood with their renditions of festive favourites, in an attempt to be crowned the Touchwood School Choir Competition Winner 2013 and win £1,000 towards a school project of their choice. Guests who come along to enjoy the performances will be invited to vote for their favourite at, with the school who receives the most votes taking home the title.

Lucy Burnett, marketing manager at Touchwood, comments: “We are delighted to be hosting our School Choir Competition once again.  The performances always prove extremely popular with our guests and create a great seasonal spirit throughout the centre. The choirs put on fantastic performances every year so we encourage everyone to visit the Map Room, enjoy the shows and show their support for the singing superstars.”

Touchwood is also giving Solihull residents the chance to capture their Christmas moments with a family snapshot as the centre’s festive photo booth comes to town.

To get residents in the Christmas spirit, the festive photo booth will be taking pride of place in Poplar Arcade on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th December between 10am and 4pm, so guests can add a personal touch to their holiday season.

Once inside, guests will be invited to don Santa hats, Christmas jumpers and reindeer antlers to name but a few, to personalise their family photo, in return for a small donation to the centre’s nominated charity, TERS. After striking a pose for the camera, guests will receive a print out to share with their family, or have the option to upload the image to their Facebook profile – getting them into the full swing of the season.

Set up by members of the Touchwood team, TERS is a registered charity which is designed to help buy, ride and maintain two medical motorbikes, which will be stationed at the centre for the benefit of the local community.  The purpose of the bikes is to courier x-rays, specimens and medical equipment between hospitals’ out of hours, and is staffed entirely by volunteers.

And to help them through the busy period independent retailers at Touchwood have been learning how to further boost their business credentials after taking part in a nationally accredited mentoring scheme.

Run in partnership with Solihull College, Touchwood’s ‘Independent Retailer Mentoring Scheme’ gave store managers  in the centre the chance to learn how to further develop and enhance their businesses through a comprehensive master class, led by retail expert Lynne Robinson.

Specifically designed to help connect stores and businesses with an experienced professional who was able to provide independent advice, the workshops offered the opportunity to share best practice and equip retailers with the additional knowledge they might need to reach their strategic goals. Retailers who took part in the session included Fabulous, Mr Simms, and L’Occitane.

Andrew Cole, general manager at Touchwood, comments: “Our aim at Touchwood is to continue to create a desirable retail destination that brings well known high street brands together with independent boutique-style stores, to give our guests a unique shopping experience.

“The ‘Independent Retailer Mentoring Scheme’ provided the perfect opportunity to support our retailers in helping them to grow their businesses. We’ve had some fantastic feedback from those who participated and hope to be able to run a similar workshop in the future. We would like to thank all those who came along as well as Solihull College and Lynne Robinson.”