Play areas, which cost about $100,000, have become such kid magnets that mall landlords don't want to take a chance parents will be tugged away to a competing mall by their offspring panning the play area as same old, same old.
- Some malls are ordering custom-built characters that can be found only in their mall.
- The typical regional mall shopper visited 3.1 times a month in 2005, up from 2.9 times in 2004. That's two more trips a year. The average shopping trip was 82 minutes, up seven minutes from four years ago. They spent an average of $90.90 a trip, up from $71.90 four years ago.
Many malls are buying themed upgrades and replacements for their kids play areas well before the equipment's 10-year life span ends.