Game show fills niche in local mall

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Mall vacancies may be a sign of the times, but managers in Grand Strand shopping centers are using the extra space for a different purpose, and working to keep businesses in business.

“They need more anchor stores here,” said shopper Colleen Polmateer. “It’d be nice to see some more business here.”

The average vacancy of a shopping mall in the United States is 8.7 percent right now. That’s a decrease from the 8.9 percent measured last quarter.

That improvement can be attributed to the fact that more store fronts are sticking it out and retaining their business, but that’s not the only way malls are filling the open space.

Some malls are using the opportunity for entertainment or interactive shows, like the Myrtle Beach Mall, which is hosting a game show attraction called “Sqrambled Scuares.”

“It’s about the overall experience and entertainment,” said General Manager Joe Perl. “It’s not just about shopping. It’s a lot about experience and experiential marketing.”

The mall just signed on to host the show, and have not yet determined when the process will begin.

While shopping malls posted lower vacancy rates, retail strip centers posted higher numbers, with a vacancy rate of 10.8%.

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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