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Added amenities One distinctive amenity at Stonebriar will be its satellite concierge program, which acts as an extension of the mall's customer service center. A common complaint among shoppers is they don't always find items they are looking to purchase. A 1.6 million sq. ft. mall certainly represents a considerable amount of ground to cover. General Growth plans to help shoppers navigate the mall more easily, and find all the items on their shopping lists.

Customer service representatives will be visible throughout the mall. The mobile concierges will be trained on stores, merchandise and brands, and will be linked to the main customer service center via radios. So if a customer wants to know where to find a specific item or brand such as Lucky Brand jeans, the representative can tell the shopper what store carries the item, and where that store is located. The customer service reps will also have information on the community such as hotels and restaurant locations.

E-initiatives Stonebriar is designed to accommodate the future of "bricks and clicks" retailing. The Frisco mall will be General Growth's second shopping center to fully launch the company's new eBusiness initiatives. is the centerpiece of that eBusiness strategy. will provide the first true physical and digital shopping experience by uniting the firm's 135 regional malls and more than 15,000 retailer relationships. will be a fully interactive shopping site featuring each General Growth mall with its own unique regional flavor and product offering. The site will combine the physical mall shopping experience with the dynamic content, information gathering, personalization and distribution advantages of the Internet. The link to Stonebriar will be launched prior to the mall's opening. Stonebriar will also have kiosks set up within the mall that will allow shoppers to link to the site. In addition, General Growth is wiring all of its new mall projects with broadband to provide retailers with state-of-the-art infrastructure.

"We're building our malls so they fit into the new e-retailing, and blend with the normal method of retailing," Batesole says.

Earlier this spring, General Growth announced a national strategy to deploy a digital broadband cable infrastructure from Cisco Systems Inc. to link individual retailers in General Growth regional malls. The Internet Protocol-based broadband cable initiative will provide a variety of high-speed communication and value-added interactive services.

The goal is to help retailers gain a competitive edge by increasing productivity and operating efficiency. Broadband cable technology provides businesses with optimal communication connectivity via key data, video and voice applications. The new network will enable retailers to reap the benefits of high-speed connectivity.

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