Rosedale offering augmented reality ride instead of in-person Santa because of COVID-19


Rosedale Center will not offer an in-person Santa this year. Instead, it is installing an augmented reality ride that lets kids help the Jolly St. Nick deliver his presents.

The mall said it also realizes that many shoppers will not want to crowd into shopping centers, so it will offer QVC-type opportunities through Twin Cities Instagram influencers.

Tickets for “E.L.F.S., Experimental Long-Range Flight Simulator” go on sale Monday. The ride allows users to get a “sleigh’s eye view” of what Santa sees Christmas Eve by driving.

“Rosedale Center is now known for breaking the mold and being inventive and pushing the envelope,” said Sarah Fossen, Rosedale Center’s director of marketing and experience.

The mall will try to drive online traffic to its tenants through two Instagram initiative.

Rosedale Center will offer a shopping platform through Instagram Live six hours a day, featuring products from various stores from Von Maur to Lululemon. On Black Friday, the host will be Sarah Edwards with help from other local social influencers Rammy Muhamed and Mercedes Iman Diamond.

Rosedale also has deals with other local influencers, who will go live on their personal Instagram pages acting as personal shoppers. Transactions will take place via PayPal with the ability for customers to pay with their Venmo account or credit and debit cards.

The mall also has added a Pokemon Go style game for brick-and-mortar shoppers from Black Friday to New Year’s Day. Some of the augmented reality items that guests will collect will lead to prizes.

 

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