Mall Readies Wireless Sales Pitches

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Shoppers at the Palisades Center Mall, Nyack, NY, soon will not need circulars and coupon books to find out about sales and discount offers. Mall merchants will send consumers real-time wireless notices starting late next month through a partnership with Geeps.com.


Geeps.com will set up kiosks in the mall that consumers can use to view sample short-message service alerts and register for the free service. Upon registration, shoppers can select the types of products, services and merchants they are interested in receiving messages from.


Geeps.com anticipates that about 80 of the mall's 200 merchants will sign up for the promotion at launch, with the remainder joining within one month. Geeps.com would not disclose any of the merchants signed up for the program. Merchants using the service will create or edit promotions by entering a password-protected section of the mall's Web site.


"As a merchant, if I see it is a slow day, I should have the ability to post real-time promotions to remedy the situation," said Salim Samaha, director of business development at Geeps.com, Cranbury, NJ.


Geeps.com did not do any research to determine interest among mall visitors. Samaha said, however, that the service should prove popular given the affluent communities surrounding Palisades Center and the high percentage of teenagers -- heavy users of wireless devices -- who visit the mall.


Geeps.com will post banners at various locations throughout the mall to notify shoppers of the service. Also, the mall will inform consumers of the service on its Web site.


Geeps.com charges the mall an undisclosed monthly fee to run the service. Samaha claimed that because the mall gets a percentage of each merchant's sales, the service should allow the mall to increase profits.


"Shoppers won't have to sort through junk mail and newspapers to locate the promotions they are interested in. This service eliminates all of the pre-research consumers usually have to do," said John Mott, general manager at Palisades Center. "These days, consumers are looking for a sound bite rather than the whole nine yards," he added.


Palisades Center, which receives more than 20 million visitors per year, contains a mix of traditional department stores, dining and entertainment facilities and upscale retail centers.
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