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Mindful of Amazon, malls take the Santa experience high-tech

Hop on a virtual sleigh ride to the North Pole. Stand on the "Naughty or Nice O'Meter." Snap a selfie and see your face on a dancing elf. The Santa experience has gotten a makeover as many malls install shows and games they hope will lure shoppers who are buying more online.

About 40 malls in the U.S. and one in London have the high-tech Santa displays, most of them located near major cities that tend to house pricier stores. Taking photos on Santa's lap costs about $30 and up, around the same as at other malls, but most of the malls say people can walk through without purchasing anything.

"It was a half-hour of entertainment that was free," says Katie...