Forehead-Scratcher: Mall Adheres Print Directory Over Digital Version

November 24, 2022 by Dave Haynes

This is just sad to see as we approach the end of 2022 – a big shopping mall operator resorting to a print wayfinding directory and affixing it directly to a big, what-would-have-been expensive high-brightness outdoor digital totem.

An industry friend provided this photo from a higher-end outlets mall in Orlando, run by Simon, which I gather manages its own screens.

Maybe there’s an issue with the screen, compounded by supply chain issues, that makes this a temporary fix??? Those outdoor malls can be labyrinths, so if you know it’s going to be two months to get a new screen or whatever in place, shoppers (probably a higher percentage of tourists than other markets) need something to find the DKNY store. You can’t imagine a major mall operator giving up on what would very likely been a five-figure capital investment in such a display unit.


  1. Wayne Rorex says:

    I hope they exhibit at CES. They invented the first “almost” Smart Easel. Leave a set of dry erase markers and you can map out your route and the next person can erase it and map theirs.

  2. Pat Stimpson says:

    Saw the same “solution” at a Starbucks location blocks from their HQ in Seattle. Apparently the display was positioned so that the sun caused reflection making screen unreadable. Someone screwed up!

  3. craig Allen keefner says:

    I think it comes down to the squeak squeak of going cheap. The simon mall premium outlets here had them here in Denver. First time around the sun out of the west that they faced whacked their screens. Eventually, they just opted for paper overlay over the touchscreens. Pretty common outdoor. Instead of spending 45K they spent around 25K on unit that ended up being a static paper menu mount. Pretty spendy mount.. I want to say it was Gable sourcing Keewin on the enclosures. Other outdoors like IKE are around $50K I think.

  4. Nancy Radermecher says:

    Wondering…do the benefits of easy update, pathfinding and search outweigh the costs? Surely someone in the readership knows…

  5. Wes Dixon says:

    As I reported in March,”my” local McDonalds outdoor menu screens pretty much all failed (at the same time it appears). I sent Dave a snapshot… Six weeks later they were still down, so as I was paying for my Sausage Egg McMuffin, I handed the manager my card and told him to call us… we could fix it… nothing (of course). All four screens were still down, not a good look for MickeyD’s, when I got a response from the owner (maybe just the GM) during a visit in July. He said the reason they have not replaced the screens is due to the $20k+ price tag. They are still down…

  6. Dmitri says:

    I actually saw this at Las Vegas’ Premium Malls as well; by the same operator. Was there for InfoComm and got a kick out of the approach. It kind of made sense given the state of the other displays that “seemed” to be on. The heat and the sun weren’t kind to them. I guess the learned the lesson at one of the malls and “rolled” it out across their portfolio… lol.

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