Simon Property Group Adds More ‘Play’ to Texas Mall

In a tumultuous time for brick-and-mortar retail, the smartest players are taking the in-store experience to the next level.

And savvy companies are finding especially creative ways to do just that. Case in point: Simon Property group recently revealed “the first ever” Disney Junior Play Zone at La Plaza Mall, said a spokesperson for the McAllen, Texas-based shopping center. The new experiential hub will accompany La Plaza’s variety of brands and retailers, from Flip Flop Shops and Sharol Shoes to Zara and H&M.

The spokesperson said that “the first-of-its-kind tactile play environment,” located in the mall’s JCPenney wing, provides kids with a variety of interactive experiences and themed activities. What’s more, there are also aspects geared towards parents — think charging stations, designated stroller parking and comfortable seating.

Isabel Rodriguez, director of marketing and business development at La Plaza, described the play zone as the “crown jewel” of the mall. “The addition of the play zone is evidence of our continued commitment to remaining a dynamic, family-friendly destination for the Rio Grande Valley community,” she said.

City of McAllen mayor Jim Darling added that he felt the play zone would notably elevate customers’ shopping experience. “Having a Disney Junior Play Zone at La Plaza will make the shopping experience that much more enjoyable for the families who visit the mall from throughout our region and throughout northern Mexico,” he said. “This is just one more reason that La Plaza is the premier shopping destination in south Texas.”

The play zone introduction is part of Simon’s larger, new collaboration with Disney Junior — as announced in October 2017 — to welcome family programming into its shopping hubs, and comes just after what the spokesperson described as “transformative redevelopment and expansion at the mall.”

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