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UK malls use Google in desperate stab at luring shoppers off the web

Shopping centre management firm signs up to Product Search

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The UK's largest commercial property company Land Securities has signed a deal with Google to try to stem the flow of shoppers from its managed malls.

Land Securities manages more than 29 million square feet of property - including 17 shopping centres across Britain that, like most retail outlets, are suffering from the rising popularity of internet shopping.

The company said today that as well as offering free Wi-Fi in its shopping centres, it wants to "create an environment appropriate for multi-channel retailers". As part of that aim, Land Securities is signing up with Google Product Search, the internet giant's price comparison service.

With British retailers dropping like flies in the last few weeks - with HMV's administration woes and Blockbuster shutting all its UK stores - any retailers that weren't already concerned about competition from etailers are certainly worried now.

Land Securities is opening the country's only new shopping centre this year, Trinity Leeds, which is 90 per cent pre-let - "a good result in a difficult market", the company said. The mall is set to open towards the end of March. ®

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