Malls Begin to Cater to Gamers

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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