By Tamera Adams

A fast-growing Internet-based service called NearbyNow tells mall-bound and in-mall shoppers where to find the items they want.

Shoppers can use the service to search a mall's general Web site to discover where products are available, how much they cost and view images. Those who are already at the mall instead of online at home, can access the same information using a text-message-based search. Mall kiosks explain how to use the technology while simultaneously promoting it.

More than 200 malls are already using NearbyNow, a fact that begs the question, can employing technology that lures shoppers into the store help brick-and-mortars win back customers from their "frienemy"—Web-only retailers?

Nordstrom and J.C. Penney hope so. According to an article on, they integrated text messaging into their recent marketing campaigns.

If your brick-and-mortar business has been using a text-message-based service to advertise, what are the results?

If you're a consumer who uses these services to locate products and find sales, do you feel they enhance your offline shopping experience?

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