Malls beef up dining, entertainment options to boost traffic

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. Shoppers braving the mall this holiday season may notice more that's new than the day's discounts.

Many mall owners are spending billions to add more upscale restaurants and bars, premium movie theaters with dine-in options, bowling alleys and similar amenities. Some have turned swaths of space that previously housed department store chains over to health clubs and grocery stores.

Others are undergoing no less than a ground-up transformation to make room for office space, hotels and apartments.

The trend has been gaining traction as the mall owners look for ways to keep people coming in as big department stores have shuttered hundreds of stores and consumers increasingly shop online.

One expert says it's a trend that will persist, but not every mall will be able to transform itself.