- The Washington Times - Monday, July 15, 2002

Shop Virginia, a consortium of shopping centers and Virginia tourism groups, is banking on its newest brochure to help track the success of its shopping promotions.
The brochure, printed for the fourth year, highlights nearly two dozen shopping centers as well as other retail spots in Virginia. This year, it also features a coupon offering a free gift to any shoppers who spends more than $100 at one of four centers, including Tysons Corner Center and Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets.
"We're trying to get an idea of what customers spend there," said Pam Henifin, Shop Virginia's director. "It's a strong tracking mechanism."
When general managers or management companies see that the program is a success, they will be more inclined to continue to fund it, she said.
Shop Virginia has a budget this fiscal year of about $75,000 $25,000 from the Virginia Tourism Corp. The rest comes from the participating members, who have paid $2,500, $5,000 or $10,000.
The consortium printed more brochures this year than in the past. About 250,000 are in Virginia welcome centers, restaurants and hotels.
"We want to do as much as we can to flood the market," Ms. Henifin said.
Shop Virginia also is preparing for a fall promotion that will use heavy advertising for its newest offer that combines shopping with stays at hotels throughout Virginia.

Cosmetic makeover
Limited Brands' Intimate Beauty Corp. and Shiseido Co. have joined forces to open a cosmetic and skin care retailer. By the end of this year, Aura Science will open as many as nine stores in major U.S. markets, including Washington.
The stores, which are 1,100 to 1,400 square feet wide, are designed to take skin care and cosmetic sales from department store counters.
The first local store opened Thursday in Pentagon City. A second store is scheduled to open the first week in August at Montgomery Mall in Bethesda.

New taste coming to D.C.
Cuisine from Greece, Turkey and Lebanon is coming to the District this fall.
Local restaurateurs Roberto Alvarez and Rob Wilder and executive chef Jose Andres have set their sights on a restaurant called Zaytinya, which means "olive oil" in Turkish. The 200-seat location, which is under construction at 701 Ninth St. in Northwest, will offer small dishes or mezze from the Mediterranean countries, as well as an extensive list of Greek wines.
The restaurateurs have a history together. Mr. Alvarez owns the Jaleo restaurants in the District and in Bethesda, as well as Cafe Atlantico in the city. Mr. Wilder, who also is co-owner of the Jaleo restaurants, owns the Austin Grill chain. Mr. Andres is executive chef and partner in the Jaleo ventures. The three are partners in Zaytinya.
"We like to create places that are interesting, exciting and festive," Mr. Alvarez said.
Zaytinya will have about 75 employees when it opens in October.

In other restaurant news
Washington-area eateries are sponsoring another Restaurant Week, offering special menus and prices from July 28 to Aug. 4. It's the third time in eight months that the city and its restaurants have offered such a promotion. Previous Restaurant Weeks have resulted in a 15 percent to 200 percent increase in business at some eateries.
Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884. Retail & Hospitality appears every other Monday.


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