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Local businesses help keep traditional shopping centers from becoming obsolete

Woman with pink shopping bag ALPHA

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — Is traditional shopping quickly becoming a thing of the past?

With the increasing popularity, convenience and ease of online shopping, it’s easy to assume the days of heading to your favorite shopping mall are numbered.

Think again.

Tom McGee is the President and CEO of the International Council of Shopping Centers. He talked to KTSA about the many ways brick and mortar retailers are reinventing themselves.

” What we are noticing is how a growing number of traditional retailers are embracing the digital culture. They are finding ways to use digital as a way to get people in the store.”

He says Kohl’s has done an amazing job of getting people to come inside.

“For many items you’ll find on their website there is free shipping to the store. Once people are inside, they may decide to look around to see what deals are being offered that day.”

Kohl’s will soon become a return center for Amazon.

McGee says shopping malls are also gaining popularity with younger shoppers.

“This is the first generation to now know what life was like without the Internet. They can find what they want on their phones and other digital devices. The reason shopping malls appeal to them is it’s a social experience they can’t get online.”

He says many malls are incorporating activities like rock wall climbing and laser tag for younger shoppers.

Local businesses, especially in a unique city like San Antonio are bringing people to retail hubs as well.

“These local businesses and restaurants create experiences that people want to take part in. The local flavors of food, the fashions that you can’t find anywhere else. These are how local business will help keep brick and mortar locations around for many years to come. They become destinations.”

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