Mall finds innovative ways to attract shoppers

Laurie Rodriguez
Laurie Rodriguez
Leone McPhee-White
Leone McPhee-White
Jonathan Kim
Jonathan Kim

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

KANEOHE (KHNL) - Tougher economic times means some are more reluctant to open up their wallets. But large retailers in Hawaii, are reaching out to potential shoppers with some inviting ideas.

Dozens of kids are yelling, running and climbing but this isn't the middle of a regular playground. It's the middle of Windward Mall.

Oh sure, the screams are a lot of noise.

But they're also joyful sounds for retailers.

"We have a lot of return customers, people who visit almost everyday because of the play area outside," said Laurie Rodriguez, a co-owner of Little People Hawaii.

Three-year-old Kiaina is just like all the other kids, climbing, jumping and having fun. This area is just another place to play.

But the playground, made of soft material, has made a big impact in his families shopping habits.

"Its huge. Cause we'll spend a lot more time at the mall, we can plant ourselves and let the kids go wild over here. Spending more time which probably means spending more money," said Leone McPhee-White, a Kailua resident.

The mall playground is more than just kids play, it is part of a business strategy to attract more families to the mall.

"We're family friendly and we cater to the residents of the Windward side," said Windward Mall General Manager, Jonathan Kim.

"This mall has a lot of families, if you walk around you will see a lot of strollers and young families," said Rodriguez.

Having a family friendly place has turned out to be a smart move during these uncertain economic times.

Windward Mall has seen an increase in sales this year compared to 2007. Giving retailers something to smile about, while families have a little fun.