Simon to add beacons at 200 malls

Retail real estate company Simon is creating "smart malls" by installing beacon networks in more than 200 of its shopping destinations in the United States.

Mobiquity's beacon network is already in place in 75 of Simon's shopping destinations and the expansion includes a broader number of locations including Premium Outlet and Mills centers.  

"We are constantly seeking ways to enhance the Simon shopping experience through relevant, leading-edge technology," said Mikael Thygesen, chief marketing officer, Simon. "We are pleased to help facilitate the growing adoption of iBeacon technology and believe it is an important new initiative that will provide Simon, its retailers and brands with interesting, new ways to reach and communicate with shoppers who choose to opt in to the program."

It's critical that malls, even more than individual retailers, enable connectivity for shoppers. Youth visits to malls are on the decline and connectivity is considered the key to bringing them back.

Foot Locker Chairman and CEO Ken Hicks recently told FierceMobileRetail that the best way to reach kids today is not with a store network of beacons, but one that covers an entire mall. "If I'm a kid that's shopping the mall, I don't want to go through 37 different experiences," he said. "Even if we call it seamless and use Bluetooth, I still have to sign up initially in every place. I may go to 25 stores in two different malls. That's 50 connections."

"The relevant and personalized mobile engagement enabled by our iBeacon-compatible network delivers an entirely new mechanism for mall retailers and brands to provide value to their clientele, and more importantly, create compelling experiences for Simon shoppers," said Michael Trepeta, co-CEO of Mobiquity Technologies. "The ground-breaking capabilities enabled by the network should inspire every retailer and mall-based brand to develop creative campaigns that engage prospective shoppers and drive traffic from the common areas to their desired location."

In May, Simon pledged to invest $1 billion over the next three years to renovate and upgrade malls. Technology upgrades including digital networks are part of this plan. The expanded network is expected to be completed by spring of 2015.

For more:
-See this Simon press release

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