Malls are having to reinvent themselves, as many stores are filing for bankruptcy or downsizing their store footprint. Landlords are seeking tenants that can create a community and encourage interaction with customers. Malls have turned to interactive offerings—such as arcades/gaming, axe throwing, escape rooms—to keep afloat.
Simon Property Group plans to capitalize on the growing augmented reality and eSports markets by investing $5 million to replace failing department stores with places to play “Fortnite” and the augmented reality game “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.” The two partnerships tap into a couple of the fastest-growing trends in video gaming and entertainment right now. Mobile AR games have proven to grow in popularity (like “Pokémon Go”) while eSports is now a billion-dollar business.
Simon hopes to add in-game locations to 200 malls, and stores that remain in the malls are hopeful that these gamers will stop to shop or eat along the way. (CNN Business, 07.01.19)
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