Visa and Uber take rewards program nationwide
Uber riders nationwide can now earn credits for shopping and dining under a rewards program with Visa.
The program, Visa Local Offers with Uber, launched last year in the San Francisco and Los Angeles markets. It has been relaunched to be made available to Uber riders across the country. The program is open to Uber riders with an eligible U.S.-issued Visa card on file in the Uber app.
Once enrolled in the program, riders can receive Uber credits that can be applied towards future Uber rides. Riders can use the same Visa card on file with Uber to shop or dine at over 5,000 featured merchants. After qualifying purchases, credits automatically add up in the Uber app, and riders can then choose to redeem their Uber credits on their next ride or save them for later. (In a change from the test last year, the rewards are now automatic based on the displayed offer.)
“As we continue to move towards a cashless culture, programs like Visa Local Offers with Uber are representative of new ways that merchants will be able to unlock business value while also rewarding consumers in simple and seamless ways for everyday purchases,” said Terry Angelos, VP, Visa Commerce Solutions team, Visa.
According to VisaNet data from July 2016 to June 2017, Visa found a strong connection between Uber riders and local businesses.
"More than a quarter of Visa cardholders who used Uber, made a purchase with their Visa card at a physical store within 30 minutes of completing an Uber ride, making this program a great way for our merchant partners to engage new and existing customers while also offering consumers secure, simple and consistent purchasing experiences," Angelos said.
Kid-friendly restaurant chain testing a new look
Those dancing and singing animatronic characters may become a thing of the past at Chuck E. Cheese.
The restaurant chain, famous for its triple combination of pizza, token-operated games and iconic (if now outdated) animatronic shows in which Chuck E. and his robot pals periodically sing and dance, has debuted a more modern look. And there is not a robot in sight.
Three locations in the San Antonio, Texas, area have been completely remodeled, and the new animatronics-free design is headed to Kansas City area locations this fall, reported Eater.
“Kids stopped watching the animatronic shows,” Chuck E. Cheese CEO Tom Leverton said in the report. “What we’ve seen over time with improvements in tech, with screens, and the expectations of kids today, the animatronics aren’t the main draw.”
Leverton added that the company could be remodeling more company-owned units across the country as soon as next year.
Click here to read more.
A lifestyle center architect’s view of the world
International architects, developers and municipalities have been pushing the commercial real estate envelope for generations, and International design ideals are increasingly taking root in the U.S. From unique communal environments that encourage social engagement to innovative entertainment concepts and extreme sports, domestic developers are slowly but surely integrating formerly international elements into centers. In many ways, this is driven by consumer demand for an experience — coupled with increasingly dense markets that require more creative thinking.
Baltimore-based DDG is an internationally renowned architecture, planning, and graphics firm that delivers innovative and award-winning design solutions to commercial developments in cities, towns and suburbs around the world. Here are some highlights from the firm’s portfolio, which covers more than 50 different countries.
Menlyn Shopping Center, Menlyn, Pretoria, South Africa
A drive-in movie theater outside the parking garage (pictured here) was added to this center to bring a new form of entertainment to the region. Menlyn Park is a 1.2 million-sq.-ft. mixed-use shopping and entertainment district that has been renovated several times by DDG over the last 15 years. A multi-purpose arena inspired by Roman amphitheaters that provides a venue for activities including concerts, family-oriented attractions, Barnyard Theatre and sporting events.
Akasya, Istanbul, Turkey
At Akasya, DDG transformed an old Ford factory site into a dramatic mixed-use destination that embodies the vital energy and compelling complexities of an evolving Istanbul cityscape. The KidZania space is accessed through a full-scale Turkish Airlines jet. A park meanders through the retail area of the 4.3 million-sq.-ft. lifestyle center and reaches into residential areas — reinforcing Akasya’s commitment to environmental progressivism.
Evkur Bahçelievler, Istanbul, Turkey
DDG was charged with renovating this site through “placemaking,” focusing on the concept of public space above retail. The design is supported by communal spaces that create a sense of place and serve as a social infrastructure to the surrounding region, as well as those who live and work at Evkur Bahçelievler. This was accomplished through “The Courtyard” open-air lifestyle zone, “The Promenade” highline park, “The Park” gardens and activity zones, and “The Gardens” on the roof and in the mall’s large interior atrium spaces.
Expo-Xplore, Durban, South Africa
Expo-Xplore is a branded two-level, interactive sports and entertainment facility that serves as an anchor for the Gateway Theatre of Shopping in Durban. Every part of Expo-Xplore was designed around movement, vitality, and high-energy interactions between person and place. A Tony Hawk-designed skate park adjoins the building, where other facilities include a basketball court, a competition-class standing wave for surfing, and a 4×4 track. A central rotunda towers over the keystone feature – the world’s largest freestanding indoor climbing rock at 29 meters. Expo visitors explore Planet Blue, a waterboard sport-based merchandise rotunda, and also take advantage of an IMAX theater, cultural offerings and live performances.
Istinye Park, Istanbul, Turkey
Istinye Park is an innovative retail, dining, and entertainment center situated above a natural topographical “amphitheater” of master-planned mid-rise residential neighborhoods. It consists of four conceptually and architecturally distinct elements: the Grand Rotunda, a central entertainment space; the Lifestyle Center, an open-air town-square component; the Fashion Zone, a glass-roofed indoor retail area, and the Grand Bazaar, a traditional Turkish market and food zone. The centerpiece of the 936,000-sq.-ft. center Istinye Park is the Grand Rotunda. This dramatic structure is a four-level arena-like space beneath a scalloped shell-roof structure. Supported by a central exterior mast and suspension cables, the rotunda’s 328-ft.-diameter hard-shell “canopy” encloses the entertainment-oriented portion of the mixed-use residential and retail project.
Bryce Turner is Chairman of DDG BCT Architects, a global provider of design, planning, architectural services to commercial developments. Bryce can be contacted at [email protected].