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A Zone of Their Own

The Glendale Galleria Mall is one of many retail arenas now catering to teens

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The Glendale Galleria Mall, Glendale, Calif. offers its teen shoppers a “Zone” of their own. Escaping a growing anti-teen mall attitude, the Galleria caters to teens, allowing crowds to hang out in front of a big-screen TV while a video camera blazes their images onto the Internet and a deejay blasts music. Trendy stores, like No Fear and Juxtapose saturate the 15,000-sq.-ft. area, and besides a couple of security guards, no adults are present.

Why did the Glendale Galleria spend $2.5 million to accommodate the same mall rats it, and other malls, once tried to banish? Someone evidently realized the kids you kick out today will grow up, get jobs, and possibly never come back.

The Glendale Galleria isn't the first retail space to indulge young shoppers. The plan to attract teens to the Macy's at the Stoneridge Mall, near San Francisco, began last year. According to Becky Dannenfelser, senior vp of growth strategies at Federated Department Stores Inc. (Cincinnati), year-to-date sales in the junior department went up 19 percent since it was revamped to attract a young audience. If sales increases continue, Federated plans to install the radical new format, including pipes and cables hanging from an exposed ceiling, a deejay booth and sales clerks with colorful hair and multiple piercings, in up to 100 new stores by the end of next year.

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