In hopes of drawing people to Spring Hill Mall for reasons beyond shopping, mall leaders recently installed free Wi-Fi as well as 32 tablets with Internet access.
"The new tablets are part of our ongoing efforts to modernize and enhance the shopping experience by adding amenities we believe will encourage shoppers to spend more time at the mall and visit more frequently," General Manager Amy Prew said in a statement. "The tablets have been installed just in time for the holiday shopping season in addition to more vibrant and comfortable seating."
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The Wi-Fi service is available throughout the 33-year-old mall and the tablets, nailed down to tables, are in the mall's center court.
In the statement, Prew said the tablets offer fast, convenient Internet access and create a space for shoppers to relax and unwind. Mall officials would not comment beyond a provided statement.
Within the past nine years, several stores have left Spring Hill Mall in favor of newer spots inside Algonquin Commons and elsewhere.
West Dundee Village President Chris Nelson said other malls, such as Woodfield in Schaumburg, have the ability to attract customers based on their stores alone.
Spring Hill Mall, he said, needs to be more creative. Other competition also has sprung up in the form of the Arboretum of South Barrington, he noted.
Spring Hill straddles Carpentersville and West Dundee.
"It's clear we have to do something," Nelson said. "I do think we can compete. I just think that adding some amenities to (Spring Hill Mall) and thinking about what the future would look like, we need to have that conversation."