They’re found at every shopping center — those solitary souls, surrounded by bags, sitting outside a store, waiting for their partners or family members to finish shopping.
Vicki Rousseau spies them in her line of work as the area director of marketing and business development at Las Vegas Premium Outlets North and South. That’s when she often takes action.
“This person is like the keeper of the bags,” Rousseau said Tuesday at the Las Vegas Premium Outlets North near downtown. “When I see (them), I’ll go up to them and offer them a Dropit pass to get people to try the service.”
Dropit, created by a London startup with the same name, is a mobile app that allows customers to leave their purchases at a store and then have the bags delivered to their home or hotel at a time they choose — making shopping a bag-free experience.
Las Vegas Premium Outlets North was the first shopping center in the U.S. to offer the service, launching it in October. Now, the center’s owner, Simon Property Group Inc., is expanding the service to all of its Las Vegas properties this month including Las Vegas Premium Outlets South, the Shops at Crystals and the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.
“(Dropit) provides a unique shopping experience,” Rousseau said. “The beauty of it is it’s same-day delivery. If you purchase online, you’re waiting at least a day or two.”
The move is just one step Simon Property Group has taken to bring a new experience to its shopping centers in Las Vegas at a time when analysts are questioning whether malls still have a future.
An analyst recently asked Simon Chairman and CEO David Simon about the future of the company’s business and the poor sentiment toward malls, he responded, “People have been trying to kill off the malls for 50, 60 years … (we’re) all like cockroaches, OK? We’re going to still hang around.”
To use the service, shoppers download the Dropit app to their mobile phone or use an in-store device at a participating retailer.
The customer takes photos of receipts through the app, and the bags are placed inside a Dropit-branded bag that is then sealed and kept at the store to be picked up by a Dropit employee.
A shopper can leave an unlimited number of shopping bags at multiple stores throughout the day for a $15 fee.
The customer is then able to choose same-day or next-day delivery at a time frame of their choosing as a single shipment to their home or hotel.
At a food court at the outlet mall, Ricky Shimokawa of Hawaii chatted with an employee at the Dropit kiosk.
Shimokawa told a reporter he had noticed the signs throughout the shopping center promoting the app and wanted to get more details.
“It’s something different and convenient,” he said. “I’d definitely use it.”
Dropit regional manager Lihi Levin said it’s a great solution for customers with little time to drop their shopping bags off at their hotel before heading to a concert or back to a convention.
“It’s 2019. Nobody needs to carry their bags everywhere,” Levin said. “The idea is hands-free so you can enjoy more time in the store, more time in the shopping center. When they’re ready to go back to their room, they can stop by the bell desk and pick up their bag and they’re done.”
Nearly 75 percent of the 180 stores at Las Vegas Premium Outlets North participate in the program as a designated Dropit site, Levin said.
Leah Sireci, store manager at 7 For All Mankind, said many of her clients enjoy the service, especially tourists.
“They don’t want to travel with all their bags, and some clients will spend a lot more money if they don’t have to carry all their stuff,” she said.