Find it all at Central Mall


Story by Brianna O'Shaughnessy, staff writer

Since its 1978 opening, Central Mall has seen many changes. The inside that was once lined with fountains and greenery now holds assorted kiosks and children’s rides. Stores move in and out, changing over time with the fashions. Now the walls are tan and white, with only bits of color forming arbitrary tiles, and have self-promoting banners that hang in the center.

Now just another building in Texarkana, the mall is attempting to stay up-to-date. Central Mall added its phone application to the market in 2011. But with little downloads and only two reviews, the app parallels the facility.

Simplistic and bare, which sounds like a harsh attack towards the two, is just a statement that local teens share. The app seems intended for teenagers and young adults, but that age group would rather go to Dallas, which has more of a selection, or find other apps that can be shopped from. Many of the teens would rather search to find specific items instead of an overview of the store.

The inner workings of the mall’s app has a stock image of a woman with shopping bags watermarks the background. Grey text overlays the woman in white. Overall the app as blends together to create a grey mess.. It’s visually unappealing. To contradict all of the negatives in this empty grey matter, the Retail Buzz section has the most activity with useless tweets.

The lack of color in the subcategories is made up for on the homepage. Six colors grace the background, each representing a different function. The speech bubble shaped buttons–Find Us, Directory, Events, Retail Buzz, Contact Us and Mobile Site–are the only navigations offered on the home screen. The app offers few promotions and upcoming events.

The app also includes information about the 72 business and gives brief descriptions of each store. For the most part, the app has little to offer, but much like the mall, it holds the ability for thriving potential.

Central Mall’s app can be held in contrast to Wanelo, RetailMeNot and Wish, which offer discounts and prices to specific items. The app has little to offer when stores like Sephora, Victoria’s Secret and American Eagle Outfitters have apps of their own. Discounts or rewards for stores that are commonly visited is an addition that could potentially improve Central Mall’s app. The girly theme of how great shopping is could be lost in space and no one would notice. A bit more color and the girly motif gone could bring in more patrons.

Central Mall may not be the local’s favorite, but with a few tweaks and maybe some help from willing teens, the popularity will rise. The mall is full of unidentified potential. The number of stores and the retro-styled building has been around nearly 30 years. Texarkana has grown, now the mall, and the app, needs to grow with it.