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06/21/2022

Simon opens mall stock to shopper search

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Simon is easing the process of customers searching its store inventory.

Simon is launching a new customer-facing search platform.

The shopping center operator is rolling out Simon Search, a search platform designed to give shoppers the ability to research in-stock products available at participating retailers located within a Simon property. Simon Search is available to shoppers through the Simon app, property websites, and interactive directories located at Simon properties nationwide.

Participating retailers including Aéropostale, Anthropologie, Athleta, Banana Republic, Gap, J.Crew, J.C. Penney, and Old Navy are utilizing Simon Search. This initial version of the platform is being tested at 29 Simon retail centers across the U.S., with a broader rollout planned for later in 2022.

“Simon Search brings new search capabilities to our retail centers, offering shoppers multiple ways to search for specific in-store merchandise," said Mikael Thygesen, chief marketing officer, Simon. "Simon is committed to providing shoppers with the most enjoyable shopping experience possible. This game-changing search tool raises the bar, delivering enhanced inventory visibility to our shoppers. Consumer research has shown that almost 90 percent of shoppers are interested in the enhanced search capabilities provided by Simon Search."

Simon is a real estate investment trust engaged in the ownership of premier shopping, dining, entertainment and mixed-use destinations and Simon Property Group, with properties across North America, Europe and Asia.

Westland Mall enables inventory search
Simon is launching Simon Search weeks after Florida-based Westland Mall rolled out a revamped website with a digital platform called “Shop Now” that enables its customers to search participating retailers in the mall for products. Shoppers can use the tool to pre-plan their in-person visit, as well as add products to a wish list, which acts like a shopping list.

Westland Mall intends this new omnichannel tool to show those customers planning a trip or already at the mall, in real time, what items are in stock at select favorite retailers. The platform can be used to search for any product sold at the shopping center via keyword or category.

Leveraging the Shop Now platform, customers can search for any product they are looking for from the center’s participating retailers – “red shoes” for example – and the site will display all the red shoes available from the directory of applicable Westland Mall retailers.

Real estate investment firm Centennial, which acquired Westland Mall in January 2022 after assuming management in October 2021, first launched Shop Now in late 2020 on several of its shopping center websites, beginning with MainPlace Mall in Southern California.

At that time, the Shop Now platform, created in partnership with artificial intelligence (AI) and e-commerce technology company Adeptmind, was the first of its kind in the U.S. Since then, Centennial has added Shop Now capabilities to each of its shopping centers nationwide. Westland Mall now becomes the first shopping center in the Miami-Dade area to add a mall-wide search engine to its service offerings.

There are no apps to download for customers to use Shop Now. They simply visit the Westland Mall website and either use the search bar or click Shop Now from the main navigation menu.