- by cnn
- 29 Sep 2023
Pickleball is coming to your local mall, replacing shuttered Bed Bath & Beyond, Old Navy, and Saks Off 5th stores.
It may seem like a strange strategy, but the match offers benefits to both mall owners and pickleball players.
Malls need new tenants to fill vacant spaces and draw customers beyond their traditional department store anchors and clothing stores.
Consumers are craving fun, social experiences after years of limited gatherings during the pandemic, and they have shifted their spending from goods to experiences like theaters, arcades and amusement parks.
Malls are responding to these trends by turning to a wider range of tenants and activities to draw traffic, real estate investment firm JLL said in a report this week.
The new mix at malls also includes skydiving, virtual golf and breweries.
Meanwhile, pickleball is America's fastest growing sport. Backers of the game and developers are desperate to find vacant spaces to build courts.
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