Happy hour at a shopping mall in Texas just got a little bit happier. The Shops at La Cantera, a mall in San Antonio, now lets patrons drink alcoholic beverages while they shop.
“We look at it as a ‘sip and shop’ activity that we can provide for our customers,” Brian Schroeder, senior general manager of The Shops, told local ABC affiliate KSAT in an interview. “It’s just another way to make sure people can have a great experience while they are here.”
Two restaurants at the mall, Luciano Pizzeria and Tiny Cantina, are licensed to sell alcoholic drinks in closed containers. If customers want to walk around the mall with their beverage, they have to insert the straw into the plastic lid themselves, the San Antonio Express-News reported.
There’s one more tiny catch: Patrons walking around with wine or beer in a cup have to wear a wristband, so mall security workers know not to hassle adults who were given the beverage legally. When you leave the mall, you have to leave your beer behind, too.
The Shops do look like a nice place to go for a stroll with a glass — er, cup — of wine:
As Amazon continues to take bigger bites out of the consumer marketplace and former retail stalwarts such as Sears and Kmart succumb to competition from online sales, brick-and-mortar stores have increasingly tried to turn themselves into destinations.
“Sip and shop” events become a popular way to draw customers to a mall, and a consumer study Reuters reported on last year highlights the added benefit to retailers: Shopping under the influence is tied to higher spending.
It’s not just malls getting in on the act. Upscale grocery stores are also serving alcohol in an effort to get customers to linger, too. Three years ago, Target applied for a license to serve alcohol at certain locations.
Introducing the option to sip on a beer while shopping isn’t the only way The Shops at La Cantera has tried to make the mall more inviting. The Shops also opened the doors to canine companions earlier this year, the Express-News reported, and some customers seem pretty excited about the change:
What a cutie!
Has your mall changed with the times?