When Chain Store Age embarked on a search for the Top 10 Retail Experiences in the nation, it was hard for us to look past a 5-million-sq.-ft. mall in Minnesota with a roller coaster and a comedy club, as well as an Apple Store and a Hard Rock Café.
It should come as little surprise, then, to see Mall of America occupying the No. 1 spot in our Top 10 countdown that culminates today.
“We’re really appreciative of this recognition,” said Jill Renslow, senior VP of marketing and business development for MOA. “The Ghermezian family had a vision that if they made experience number one, people would come from around the world to visit Mall of America. That original vision continues today.”
It’s been 25 years since the Ghermezians’ Triple Five development company threw down the gauntlet for experiential retail on the site of the demolished Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington. But customer experience has continued to evolve at MOA with new attractions that include SeaLife Aquarium, Flyover America, and The Crayola Experience.
The latest innovation is a testament to MOA’s maturity as a retail experience provider. The property’s got the traffic — some 40 million visitors a year. Now Triple Five’s working on getting them to spend more time in shops with the Enhanced Service Portal, or ESP. Initial results on the store directory app finds it has a user dwell time of just 40 seconds versus three minutes for physical directories.
“We constantly review consumer lifestyles and how they change,” Renslow said. “Our communication command center — or ESP — is aimed at bringing a convenient, customized experience to our visitors. We want them to feel valued.”
It adds value to retail tenants, as well. If it takes shoppers less time to track down any MOA’s 500-plus stores, they have more time to spend money inside of them.