Plano’s Shops in Willow Bend makes its store racks searchable online


Plano’s Shops in Willow Bend makes its store inventory searchable on the mall’s website as a planned shopping tool.

The mall is the first in the Dallas-Fort Worth market to partner with startup platform Shop Now! So far, 22 stores are participating, including Dillard’s and Macy’s. The Neiman Marcus store is not part of the launch, according to the mall’s website.

Kelly Howden, general manager of The Shops at Willow Bend, said the tool can be used before customers arrive at the mall and while they’re there from their smartphones. To entice shoppers to try out the tool, Willow Bend has created promotions and contests.

Dallas-based Centennial, the real estate investment firm that bought a 21-year-old mall in May, used Shop Now! at other properties it has owned since 2020. Centennial is working on plans to redevelop the property and said Monday it was negotiating with several new tenants to be announced soon. The mall developer said it is also planning community events to help drive traffic to the mall. A popup for China-based online fashion retailer Shein will open this weekend.

Colleen Heydon, Centennial’s senior vice president of marketing, said the new platform is “revolutionizing the way people interact with their local mall.”

There’s no app to download because it works off the mall’s website, and its search function works the way people “actually think,” said G Wu, CEO and co-founder of Adeptmind. , the company behind Shop Now! Platform.

Shoppers can grab an item, like a red dress or a blue shirt, a favorite brand or both and see what’s inside. The platform also allows shoppers to populate a wishlist.

Shopping malls have been trying to become more digital for years. The pandemic has accelerated the need for services that facilitate online shopping. Galleria Dallas management operates curbside operations for its stores. And Amazon recently announced it would deliver from select stores in the mall as part of a pilot project that includes Dallas.

Twitter: @MariaHalkias

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