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Pokémon Go and augmented reality's impact on retail

Many Maryland residents have probably noticed Pokémon Go players walking around playing the augmented reality game. Since it was released on July 6, gamers have been on their feet playing the game all over the country. Some gamers have even become so absorbed in the video game that they have accidentally walked into dangerous off-limit areas.

Commercial real estate investors and retailers have been speculating about the impact that augmented reality games may have on business. The potential to drive customers toward physical locations where PokéStops and Pokémon gyms exist could help to increase revenue for brick-and-mortar retailers. Some retailers may even become sponsored by Pokémon Go and drive customers to their storefronts with lures in the game.

Even without Pokémon Go, other augmented reality apps may be developed by retailers to increase brick-and-mortar sales. The head of occupier research for CBRE talked about the potential for augmented reality to blend the online shopping experience with the in-store shopping experience. She said that online shopping and in-store shopping both have limitations, but combining the two shopping experiences could help to sustain in-store sales. In the future, augmented reality apps could even replace window displays and in-store signs.

Commercial real estate owners of retail stores might want to talk to an attorney about how augmented reality apps might affect their properties. An attorney may help determine whether becoming a sponsored location for Pokémon Go would benefit the business by attracting more foot traffic or harm it by driving customers away who do not play the game.

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