SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — More and more malls are closing their doors. A report done by Credit Suisse estimates 20% to 25% of malls will shut down over the next five years. However, one local mall is bucking the trend. We go inside the Empire Mall to see how they’re using technology to keep thriving.
If you’re walking through the Empire Mall, you may notice some new screens along the way.
“Gone are the days where you had to try to figure out where a store is relocated, as these are going to be updated within 24 hours. Any new relocations,” said Kirsten Schaffer, Director of Marketing and Business Development for the Empire Mall.
These new digital directories are designed to help customers find the stores, restaurants and even bathrooms!
Each one is a touch screen, with cameras built in to sense when someone is approaching. It then uses arrows to show you where you are, and direct you wherever you want to go.
“You can do view amenities by the name. So you see like your family restrooms, ATMs. We give scooters for free to walk around the mall so this is where you pick it up. How would I get there,” said Schaffer.
You can even snap a selfie and send it to your phone! Kirsten Schaffer with the Empire Mall says this is the wave of the future.
There are 8 of these stands located near department stores and main entrances. This is a big investment and vote of confidence in the mall’s future from their owners, Simon Malls.
“I can tell you our numbers are up. It’s great to know. It’s great to share that with the public that we’re doing really well, and the fact that yes! They are investing in the property to make the experience even better for our consumers,” said Schaffer.
There aren’t any more technology announcements in the works, but there will be some new stores! Schaffer says three new retailers will be coming to the Empire Mall this year, before Christmas.
These are all national brands, new to the city. That announcement should be coming in a few weeks!