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American Dream co-CEO reveals plans to integrate technology

american dream

American Dream co-CEO Mark Ghermezian has discussed plans to further integrate technology at the retailtainment destination, revealed during the first ever blooloop V-Expo.

American Dream reopened on October 1, welcoming guests once again to Big SNOW, Nickelodeon Universe, DreamWorks Water Park and The Rink.

Mark Ghermezian, whose background is in technology, told Blooloop that he loves software. “I love solving problems with technology and data,” he said.

Ghermezian’s “unique background” has given him a different way of thinking about the shopping centre, and the retail and entertainment business.

“I think there’s a lot of great technology out there that we can use internally, to help us become more productive and continue to be that thought leader in time and space.”

“I love using technology to create a much more productive environment for our dream makers and our team and the company and then also creating an amazing experience using technology to create an amazing experience for our guests.”

American Dream remodelled ticketing platform and app
american dream mark ghermezian

Ghermezian also admitted that the coronavirus pandemic “definitely accelerated a lot of what I want to do” at American Dream.

American Dream remodelled its ticketing platform and mobile app in order to “become more transparent about safety” and also to allow visitors to use it for tickets, paying, and communicating.

“And we haven’t pushed the app out yet, but it will push it out over the coming weeks where our dream safe initiative will be front and center inside the app.”

Discussing e-commerce, Ghermezian said American Dream is “uniquely positioned” because of its access to intellectual property (IP).

“If we can start selling the merchandise of Nickelodeon, DreamWorks, Angry Birds and others that we partner up with, I believe that’s our e-commerce strategy.”

Ghermezian revealed that he has “been paying attention a lot to what’s happening in Asia” regarding live commerce, with a product now being tested at the Mall of America.

“So I kind of use Mall of America as a testing ground,” he said. “The team there is unbelievable. They’ve created a project that’s out there in the leading project for the last 30 years.”

Describing American Dream as “this huge content creator”, Ghermezian continued: “What can we do to break out of the four walls using technology.

Ghermezian talks e-commerce and live commerce

“Whether that’s e-commerce, whether that’s live commerce, whether that’s within the mobile app, there’s a lot of interesting things that we can do with the American Dream brand, using technology and IP.

“If you can create great content within your centre – I don’t think other centres can because they’re limited to continue to create content with just retail – that our guests want to digest, I think we can demand it.

“And there’s a lot of interesting things that we can do with it by combining food, retail, and the attractions. I think it’s difficult to do one by itself.”

According to Ghermezian, American Dream is providing a space in brick and mortar, as well as analytics, a ticketing platform, pre-bookings and reservations.

CEO is “excited” about “technology in itself”

“Even if you’re coming to shop, we can combine that with our ticketing platform, we’re building a really strong growth marketing team, we have a full product and engineering team that we’ve put together during COVID,” he said.

“So I think all of this combined is kind of the vision. I don’t think there’s one specific technology that I’m excited about. I think it’s just technology in itself and the sector in itself.”

American Dream is now open in New Jersey. However, Merlin Entertainments’ Legoland Discovery Center and SEA LIFE Aquarium won’t launch until spring 2021.

Watch the full session at the blooloop V-Expo

Watch the full session at the blooloop V-Expo, running from October 13 to 15. The full session will be on demand from October 14.

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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