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Orlando Fashion Square tries indoor farmers' market

Orlando Fashion Square, the floundering mall near the city's downtown, is testing out a new way to attract customers: an indoor farmers' market.

Eat More Produce, a Winter Park-based company, will sell vegetables, fruit and other farm-produced items, like eggs and granola, in the shopping mall's west court every Saturday and Sunday for the foreseeable future.

As we have written about previously on this blog, the traditional shopping mall has largely fallen out of favor in the commercial real estate world. Increasingly, consumer prefer either to shop online or to visit open-style "lifestyle centers." These changes have meant that existing shopping malls have had to think outside the box, so to speak, to remain relevant.

Besides the farmers' market, the mall has also welcomed new tenants like Pure Element Salon and London Smoothie Cafe. Later this summer, it is also scheduled to play host to a Hershey's Ice Cream Shop and a Papaya, as well as a bowling alley.

It has been interesting to watch this mall transition away from being composed strictly of retail stores to having more of a blend of shops, restaurants and entertainment venues, like its new-ish movie theater. It is clear that Orlando Fashion Square is doing its best to give people a reason to come, visit and spend money.

It will take quite awhile to determine whether this approach is enough to bring shoppers in. Regardless, no one can say Orlando Fashion Square isn't trying, and of course, "try" is what one must do when it comes to getting ahead in this industry.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Fashion Square adds a farmer's market," Sandra Pedicini, June 2, 2013

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