LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Shopping malls across the country are switching up their strategies as they compete to attract entertainment destinations.
Dave & Busters is coming to Mall St. Matthews. Round One Bowling and Amusement is coming to Jefferson Mall, and now Dart Rush is coming to Oxmoor Center while Topgolf is proposed next door.
Dart Rush is like laser tag with Nerf guns. It’s scheduled to open in October.
“We're kind of targeting that 6 to 14-year-old age range,” said Will Brooks, general manager of Dart Rush.
Retail stores fought entertainment destinations like cinemas, bowling alleys and fitness centers in the past, but today, they’re the most sought-after anchors in the country, said Michael Tabor, partner at Trio Commercial Property Group.
“Customers and retailers these days have to change their way of thinking to becoming more experience oriented,” Tabor said. “In the past, retailers did not necessarily want entertainment uses, because they would take up a lot of the parking."
He said entertainment anchors are the future of shopping malls, because they keep people inside longer as malls fight to stay relevant.
“The decrease in foot traffic is due to people shopping online,” Tabor said. “They can order it from home, so they don't necessarily have to go to the store.”
Macy's, JC Penney and Sears were mall anchors five to 10 years ago. The Macy’s at the Jefferson Mall will soon become an arcade. The Sears at Oxmoor Center could become a Topgolf.
Brooks said stores and entertainment concepts can work together toward the same common goal.
“If you're waiting for an hour or something for an appointment at Apple, why not give you something to do while you're there?” he said.
Brooks also hopes to work closely with Topgolf if it ends up in Oxmoor Center, rather than compete with the entertainment complex.
“Maybe shoot some dart blasters for a while and then go swing a golf club,” he said. “Just have options available. I think that's exciting.”
Click here to learn more about Dart Rush.
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