Laurel Mall Trying to Buck Trend

HAZLE TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- As online shopping becomes more popular and more efficient, shopping malls continue to close across the country.

But one mall in Luzerne County is looking to reverse that trend by keeping its mall full of stores.

"Today's millennial shopper, they shop online. What do we do to combat that online? We have to offer them a lot more. Not just to come to the mall, shop, get your bag and go home. We have to offer them more," said Rocco Arruzzo, property manager at the Laurel Mall.

The Laurel Mall announced the addition of several new stores set to come there in the next few months, including a fitness store, deli, orthodontist, and furniture store. There are nontraditional stores as far as malls go, including a gaming station, wine distributor, and cigar store.

"When I say more, free Wi-Fi now, charging stations to charge your phones, which they didn't have years ago, seating areas to make it comfortable, put TVs throughout the mall. People like to watch TV," Arruzzo said.

"There's just something unique about it. Then for the younger kids, too, they sell vapes and stuff, too. It just brings a different audience and crowd in," said Jason Hoffman.

One of the Laurel Mall's mottos: evolve and innovate. Shoppers tell Newswatch 16 they notice that.

"They're looking out for the customer. That's what I always felt that they were doing here. If stores had closed, they were always looking to put another store in," said Cindy Forish.

"We feel our mall, we're working to keep it going and how do we keep it going? By filling it. Go out, get businesses to come into the mall," Arruzzo added.

With the addition of those new stores, mall officials tell us the Laurel Mall will be 100 percent full.

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