Xtreme Retailing

Stores fight the online onslaught

Sixteen-year-old Mike Carlson of Fontana, Calif., was ready when Vans Inc., a Los Angeles-based sporting goods retailer, opened a 60,000-square-foot, $4 million skate park and off-road bicycle track at the Ontario Mills Mall near L.A. last month. Within the first two weeks, Carlson had logged a half-dozen visits, shelling out $14 each time for two hours of sheer skating bliss. "All malls should have this," says the demographically desirable teen. "They kick us out of everyplace else to skate--they might as well make it legal."

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