The virtual mall to help brick-and-mortar stores opens Monday News, sports, jobs

What could be the first virtual mall in the United States is scheduled to open on Monday.

According to a press release, this virtual reality adventure is the brainchild of businessman Art Lieberman, who owns several businesses in central Pennsylvania, many of which deal with credit card processing.

The idea arose when Lieberman realized that the brick and mortar companies in his area were devastated by COVID-19. He thought creating a mall where people could order from locals without leaving home could help them survive in the shops.

Lieberman found his software provider in Exhibitor Connect with an agreement that video chat would allow vital communication for that market.

Then store owners should agree to bring stores to the mall. Lieberman wanted to make it as cheap as possible and suggested a price of only $ 100 a week or $ 400 a month. But after almost two months, only one store had committed to the project. Fortunately, it was a large furniture store, Plaza House Furniture, with a branch in two locations.

But it wasn’t long before it became clear that even $ 400 a month was too much to pay for pandemic-affected stores, and Lieberman decided to give away the stores for two months at no cost, according to the press release. . This also included the design of the store and the actual payment of the store location to the mall software. Then, with the help of media company Seven Mountains Media, the designs of Heidi Criswell, a promotional gateway website created and maintained by ResNexus and Lieberman’s own sales force, began to be developed. . Lieberman spent tens of thousands of dollars to market stores to local newspapers and radio stations.

On Monday, shoppers can log on to the catwalk website: and view promotional material and purchase instructions. They can also see ads posted by various companies. The real one “Entrance to the mall” it is also there, the press release said.

After clicking on the entrance, the virtual shopping center will appear and the buyer will be able to register with his name, telephone number and e-mail address, the latter being all that is needed to re-enter the shopping center in the future.

A list of stores will appear below. The buyer can select a store by name, by type of store or by city where he wants to buy. After clicking on the window, the buyer will be “Inside” the store, which will be the owner’s website, menu, or static design that explains and displays what they sell or the service they provide. If the store has opted for video chat, it will also appear on the store screen. The name of the buyer will appear so that the store owner can greet them.

Finally, the buyer can go to the next or previous store (alphabetically) or return to the lobby to see the store listings, or simply log out of the mall completely, according to the press release.

To learn more about or participate in the mall, log on to the aforementioned website or call 570-308-7700.

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