The Pokémon Go craze may be creating concern among employers but for shopping malls and retailers, it is good for business.
It is even described as a win-win situation: Pokémon Go players get to enjoy the game in a safe, comfortable environment and stores have more visitors.
Shopping malls around the country have recorded an increase in traffic since the location-based game was released here last month.
The spike in visitors varies from 10% to 15% among the 400-odd shopping centres in the Malaysia Shopping Malls Association.
All this is because of the placement of PokéStops and PokéGyms in malls. These spots can be statues, murals, fountains and even door handles.
This echoes the preliminary findings in a Malaysian Employers Federation’s survey which saw 19% of employers claiming that the game has helped to boost their business.
Malaysia Shopping Malls Association advisor H.C. Chan says the game has encouraged people to spend time in malls.
“With more visitors, the chances of people spending money in shops and restaurants are also higher.
“Malls are gathering places for people. While they play the game, they can also stop for a meal or a drink,” he says, adding that he hopes the game’s momentum will continue.
Chan says gamers can also benefit from playing the game in a controlled and air-conditioned environment instead of under the blazing Malaysian sun.
Malaysian Retail Chain Association honorary life president Datuk Seri Nelson Kwok says its 300 members, comprising chain stores and shop operators, have recorded increases in business because of the game.
“Retailers also gain from the extra brand exposure when players come into our stores,” he says.
Players activate such lure modules to attract Pokémon to the area so that they can catch them.
Kwok says placing lures in the game is free and helpful, especially in today’s challenging market.
Master’s degree student Muhammad Anuar Kil says he prefers going to malls to play the game since it is more comfortable; he frequents PokéStops there to refill game items.
“Malls are better because they are safer than wandering on the streets,” says the 23-year-old.
(Source: The Star Online)