Target Putting Up Giant Poke Balls Outside Its Stores

If you thought the Pokemon GO craze was dying down, think again. Sure, the number of daily active users has taken a hit since the heady days of late July and early August when the game was reported to be drawing over 50 million players daily, but that’s to be expected anyways. Recent studies from Survey Monkey and Bloomberg have shown that the popular augmented reality game is still drawing between 30 and 40 million players on a daily basis, so doomsday prophets will have to wait a little longer before they can dismiss it as a fad that has already had its 15 minutes of fame. Sure, the gatherings of people outside parks and malls trying to gain control of a Gym are getting smaller, but it’s still one of the most popular mobile games out there.

With Pokemon GO continuing to remain at the top of the revenue charts both on Google Play and the Apple App Store, Target is now using the game's popularity to draw some publicity towards itself which, it hopes, will help drive footfalls into its stores. As part of the initiative, the retailer has painted over the unique round concrete bollards in front of about 400 of its stores across the country, to make them resemble Poke Balls. Unfortunately for gamers, though, that seems to be all there is to it, as the company didn’t say anything about turning its stores into Gyms or something that might actually lure gamers into paying them a visit. However, Target does make it a point to remind Pokemon enthusiasts that it has a wide collection of Pokemon products like t-shits, backpacks, trading cards, plushes and video games that are up for grabs at all the participating stores.

Of course, Target is not the first company that’s looking to leverage the popularity of Pokemon GO to draw some publicity. Businesses have used lures to increase footfalls at their stores before, including a Long Island pizza place called L'inizo Pizza Bar that reported a dramatic increase in business after it bought lures that drew in dozens of Pokemon to the establishment. Niantic Labs has, since then, announced that it will now be open to allowing retail establishments pay to become sponsored Gyms. It isn’t immediately known whether Target would look to go down that road in the future, but for now, the press release didn’t seem to mention anything along those lines.

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Kishalaya Kundu

Senior Staff Writer
I've always been a tech buff and have been building my own PCs since as far back as I can remember. My first computer was a home-built desktop running MS-DOS on which I learnt to program in GW-BASIC and my interests apart from technology include automobiles and sports.
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