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Mall of America stores target shoppers with mobile promos

Mall of America shoppers will now have access to last-minute sales, in-store coupons and up-to-date event information via the device they never leave home without ? their mobile phone.

Visitors to Mall of America will be the first in the country to use the new text messaging service called MallCall. Mall patrons have to sign up for the service to receive real-time information about mall vendor deals and promotions.

?MallCall provides the opportunity for mall stores across America to use inexpensive and effective text marketing to drive traffic into their stores, increasing sales and their bottom line,? said Allen Gluck, president/CEO of MallCall, Nanuet, NY.

?Text messaging is the most popular and personal form of modern communication,? he said. ?Today?s sophisticated shoppers want up-to-the-minute news on sales, specials and mall news."

The average mobile user sends 357 texts each month compared with making only 204 calls, according to Nielsen.

Mall of America is the nation?s largest retail and entertainment complex. The 4.2 million-square-foot complex is home to more than 520 shops, the indoor family amusement park Nickelodeon Universe, Underwater Adventures Aquarium and a 14-screen movie theater.

The Mall opened in August 1992 and is located in Bloomington, MN, just minutes from downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Consumers who sign up for the MallCall service will receive up-to-the-minute notifications of events taking place at the mall on their mobile phones.

MallCall is meant to enhance the consumer shopping experience by providing real-time text messages about promotions and in-store coupons, allowing customers to take advantage of last-minute sales from Mall of America stores and vendors.

When arriving at Mall of America, visitors will have the option to opt-in by simply texting the provided number located above skyway mall entrances in the east and west parking ramps.

The keyword and short code will also be listed on the Mall of America Web site at http://www.mallofamerica.com.

Participants will only receive text messages during mall business hours for the day.

After the mall closes, the text messages come to an end. Customers can opt-out at any time by texting  the word STOP.

The service lets retailers target potential customers who are already in the mall, driving traffic into their store first.

Mall of America vendors have responded with ads such as one from Harry and David, a retailer that sells gourmet gift baskets. Its message to opted-in consumers is, ?Step into Harry and David and get $5 off any purchase of $25 or more (coupon code 99050).?

Hollywood Hair & Natural Beauty kiosks are also participating with messages that read, ?Free gift for 1st 100 customers @ our kiosk?s Hollywood Hair & Natural Beauty located on every floor in mall. www.yandausa.com.?

Mall of America?s Hilton hotel is participating as well. Its messages read, ?Come to the preferred MOA Hilton hotel for your next stay. Go to http://bit.ly/4qgAa3 for special MallCall rate. Free shuttle.?

?Mall vendors can now market directly to customers already inside the mall directing traffic into their store and company Web site,? Mr. Gluck said. ?Customers can control which messages they want to receive by selecting a particular mall category of interest."