Pokémon Go Becoming a Boon for Malls, Stores
Pokémon Go, the free iOS and Android app that employs augmented reality and GPS technology to allow smartphone users to seek and collect Pokémon characters around real-world locations, is taking over malls and retail stores. The app, which exploded in popularity over the weekend, is driving users to stores where many Pokémon Gyms and PokéStops — locations for players to train their Pokémon or stock up on free game accessories like Pokéballs — are located.
Total Retail's Take: The influx of aspiring Pokémon masters is becoming a blessing in disguise for the malls of America, which have experienced slumping sales and foot traffic in recent years. While some stores aren't welcoming the prospect of having non-paying customers bombarding their space, others such as Nordstrom and Macy’s are embracing the invasion of gamers into their stores in hopes of driving non-Pokémon-related purchases. Furthermore, the game could provide a way for retailers to take advantage of geo-tagging, where users are targeted with specific advertisements based on their location, without dealing with the challenges of data integration and a requirement for users to opt in or compromise on some level of privacy.
Melissa Campanelli is Editor-in-Chief of Total Retail. She is an industry veteran, having covered all aspects of retail, tech, digital, e-commerce, and marketing over the past 20 years. Melissa is also the co-founder of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle.