Malls Turn to Entertainment to Drive Traffic

Here's a local report from Michigan that has national implications. It talks about how local mall owners are increasingly turning to in-mall entertainment as a way to drive traffic to properties.

Competition among shopping hot spots has mall owners thinking outside the big box.

They hope to boost revenue by luring customers with various attractions.

Fashion Square Mall in Saginaw, the Midland Mall and Prime Outlets at Birch Run are among a growing number of retail establishments battling an anemic economy with high-tech video gaming, children's play areas and similar draws.

For instance, Computers to Go/Game On is a video arcade where Prime Outlets and Midland Mall shoppers can play on 50-inch plasma screens while rocking in gamer chairs.

"It's a good destination for the younger set with the games and for the older set with the computers," said Todd G. Huhn, general manager at Midland Mall.


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