Complex Made Simple

All to play for: Why malls are not just a shopping destination

In a world where online shopping is becoming more and more frequent, malls and businesses are becoming more creative.

Malls and major retailers bend the rules of engagement and use advertising strategies in their attempt to lure us into buying their products or acquiring their services.

Majid Al Futtaim, a leading regional shopping mall operator brought a life-size award-winning MONOPOLY, the SMILE edition, exclusively at Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Deira, and City Centre Mirdif.

Majid Al Futtaim doesn’t have a monopoly on this simple strategy, but it works.

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The giant, life-sized Monopoly

In a statement, Majid Al Futtaim said, “Returning by popular demand, the game of strategy and chance has been laid out on the malls’ floor for families to come together and beat the odds to win vouchers from more than 30 fashion stores, restaurants, and entertainment prizes.”

The giant MONOPOLY SMILE game is a life-sized, tailor-made version of the iconic property trading game.

Its main characteristics are inspired by the happiest city in the world, Dubai, as well as the mall’s SMILE campaign.

In their statement, Majid Al Futtaim explained, “Participants play to collect Smiles and more instant prizes than ever before. The player who collects the most Smiles at the end of the game is announced the winner.”

They continue, “Shoppers can exchange their receipts of $81 for a token at the mall’s customer service desks.”

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How do Malls lure us?

What other ideas malls have been using to persuade potential customers to become regular visitors?

1- Bring in the wild

In 2017, the Dubai Mall launched “The Shark Week,” integrating both digital technology and live marine life.

According to DxBee, a digital media house, visitors of the aquarium walk into a digital shark tank, described as “a glass-roofed tunnel” where you can watch the marine life all around you from the perspective of a diver

2- Shop and play

Why just shop, when you can attend a concert, ski or relax in spas?

According to Mckinsey & Company, an American worldwide management consulting firm, malls tend to provide different means for families to spend quality time together or play areas to entertain children and give parents some alone time to relax.

In the UAE, you can find Ski Dubai, the world’s third largest indoor ski slope and the first to open in the Middle East, located at the Dubai Mall.

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3- Mimic the living room: Shopping can be uncomfortable and tiresome, and malls are taking advantage of that by creating lounge areas.

Through this simple trick, malls provide women (and men) with a place to relax mid-shopping.

Mall of the Emirates, for example, offers the “Hands Free Shopping” in addition to valet parking service and VIP lounge area.

The “Hands Free Shopping” service invites shoppers to drop off their shopping bags and collect them later or have them delivered anywhere at their convenience.

4- Free Wi-Fi & charging stations: Don’t you prefer a place where free Wi-Fi is available? Same for most of us.

Nearly 6 in 10 shoppers use their phones to contact friends and get their opinions on possible purchases, according to a survey published by Small Business Trends, an award-winning online publication for small business owners.

Malls, such as The Dubai Mall, went out of their way to encourage people to shop at their stores by offering them free Wi-Fi, in addition to charging stations for phones and laptops.