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Pulling out all the stops to entice millions from millennials

Millennials shoppers retail sales
Deklofenak | Getty Images

Major retailers aren't the only ones hoping to attract young consumers inside its stores, as the nation's largest mall operator is proving.

Simon Malls has created two new programs this fall geared toward attracting the hot demographic known as millennials inside their doors. 'Lookbook Live' and 'The Shopping Block' are multi-city events throughout the country which hire social media mavens to curate collections and discuss fashion trends with consumers.

'Lookbook Live' has linked up with Conde Nast's GQ and Glamour magazines, while 'The Shopping Block' is partnering with Refinery29.

The initiative is all part of finding new ways to get shoppers inside as just this week, the Commerce Department announced spending at clothing stores fell 1.2 percent in September -- the largest decline in nearly two years.

Stacey Widlitz, President of SW Retail Advisors, told CNBC that "malls and retailers are pulling out all of their creativity to capture this consumer [who] will represent 30 percent of consumer spending by 2020."

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Trending topic: #FoundatSimon

If the data is any indication, retailers are chasing these twenty-somethings for good reason—namely, because they spend a lot of money.

Simon recently commissioned a study with Russell Research, an independent survey of more than one thousand respondents, which found that 89 percent of millennials are likely to go to the mall this holiday season, compared to 71 percent of seniors and 83 percent of the general respondents.

Showrooming–the act of viewing products in brick and mortar stores then going and buying them online, is a hot trend. However, Simon's data suggests the opposite might be happening among millennials. The survey found that 76 percent of that demographic has purchased a gift inside a store's mall location after browsing their website.

The mall's promotions rely heavily on social media and encourage consumers to use Twiter hashtags such as "#FoundAtSimon" and "#GQGlamourContestEntry" offering a $2,500 shopping spree to select winners.

At each event, social media influencers or tastemakers with large fashion followings are hired to represent both GQ and Glamour.

Simon is pulling out all the stops to court young shoppers. One influencer who asked not to be named and recently participated in two events with Simon Malls, told CNBC he gets paid $800 per event. "My job is to mingle and help create fluid conversations with customers. "Ultimately, I'm helping to drive sales at the physical mall," he said.

During his appearances, he said he goes as far as writing down actual SKU's of items so a customer can go directly to a store to make a purchase.

"I think it works because a younger generation of people is still going to malls. For example, tweens use social media the most so when they see someone they love on Instagram it gets them to the mall and buying that item."

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Jennifer Powell, an agent with Next Management in Beverly Hills, said she sees a rise of live events at retail locations. Some of her clients are paid between $2,500 to $20,000 for just showing up to an retailer's event—and a staggering $25,000 to $50,000 to host one.

"The customers love it and the top tastemakers are pulling in massive crowds for meet and greets and consequently sales surge those days," Powell added.

Simon would not comment on exactly how much they spend on such initiatives or how they measure their success. So with large sums of money being poured into such marketing events, how do brands know if it's working?

A representative from Conde Nast told CNBC that "the program's effectiveness lies in the interaction and engagement of the target consumer across all media channels." That, in turn, helps to "drive foot traffic to Simon properties, and ultimately sales for their retailers during the key fall shopping season."