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Kid Hangouts Could Help Amazon-Proof Malls


Mall landlords are turning to kid-focused entertainment to fight Amazon by giving shoppers another reason to stop by.

General Growth Properties CEO Sandeep Mathrani first got the idea in Dubai, where a mall he visited had an entire role-playing town just devoted to kids, Bloomberg reports. Thinking the idea would help make U.S. malls more experiential and competitive against e-commerce, he partnered with the company KidZania to bring it to GGP properties in Dallas and Chicago by 2019.

Experts said KidZania can take over empty square footage left by struggling retailers and make malls more competitive. But it is not a perfect fit for every mall. KidZania needs at least 60K SF and is best suited to suburban areas near schools.