Tour groups flocking to Town Center

Shopping center becoming known for fashion around nation

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - There's a new type of shopper flocking to the St. Johns Town Center -- tour groups.

They are visiting the popular shopping spot that is now being branded as a fashion destination, and marketing executives are trying to expand their reach.

"I got a lot of tourists," French Fry Heaven's Mara Rivera said. "One time, they come in on a bus."

Rivera served a busload the other day when tourists went to the Town Center, shopping the center's high-end stores.

Marketing executives say they've branded the Town Center as a fashion destination because of the wide array of stores and restaurants.

"It's the only center of quality in this area," shopper Jenny Bondurant said. "Only place up to date, current and happening."

To expand on marketing the property, mall management is focusing on transportation by shuttle to and from area hotels. The mall is also producing a tourist video to attract visitors from all over, and it's keeping a log of what areas of the country and world visitors are coming from.

"There was one group having a reunion," Rivera said. "They came on a bus. They were going around shopping. They actually had coupons."

Locals still feel as though they have a jewel in their backyard.

"It's accessible from where I live," Bondurant said. "Parking is a breeze, wonderful restaurants. The only thing missing is a movie theater."

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