It's no secret online shopping has dealt some tough blows to brick-and-mortar retailers. New Jersey's huge indoor shopping malls have certainly had their share of trouble and it only grew worse during the pandemic years. That's when people got so used to shopping through home delivery services like Amazon that many customers aren't ever going back.

I told you recently how Bridgewater Commons was financially strained and had been bought out by a company that specializes in taking properties like malls and converting them to mix-use ventures.

Google Maps
Google Maps

At least that doesn't seem to be quite the case for Freehold Raceway Mall. Open since August of 1990 the mall is changing in big ways but looks to be staying true to its definition of a New Jersey mall.

The Apple Store is getting more space and is moving to where Aldo and Sur La Table had occupied. An opening date for Apple's new location inside the mall next to Victoria's Secret hasn't been announced. The discount grocery store Lidl is going to be opening where Bob's Stores had been next to the AMC theater.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Already opened last month in the spot where Bobby's Burger Palace once was is Royal Ganesha. That's a restaurant with Indian cuisine.

As online shopping continues to take lethal bites out of in-person shopping, malls are beginning to have square footage used up with businesses that sell experiences that cannot be bought online as opposed to material goods that can. Two great examples of this are Dream Riders and Pups of War Arena, both coming to Freehold Raceway Mall.

Credit: Google Maps
Credit: Google Maps

Pups of War is battles with harmless foam darts, like Nerf. They're opening an indoor battle zone right there in the mall.

Then Dream Riders is also coming soon where you can choose a remote control car and race it against others on a track.

Experiences like these can't be delivered to your home. Perhaps we'll see more activities filling space in New Jersey's malls. No opening dates have been announced for Dream Riders or Pups of War Arena.

Freehold Raceway Mall is at 3710 Route 9 in Freehold.

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