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Eastland Mall Learns Lessons after Air Jordan Frenzy

COLUMBUS (Lu Ann Stoia) -- Eastland Mall managers said they are working with retailers on a better plan to handle the sale of popular Air Jordan shoes that caused a near riot on Sunday.

Columbus Police Sgt. Rich Weiner said they will step in if necessary this Saturday, when the 120 vouchers are cashed in for the sneakers.

Ohio Security and Protection owner Dean Boerger said it is a tough balance between good marketing and irresponsible sales practices. 

He said the pushing and shoving could have gotten even uglier at Eastland.

They want to have it (the shoes) before everybody else," Boerger said. "So they can be in and potentially re-sell it and make money off of it.

Managers at Easton Town Center, another Central Ohio retail area, are aware of the footwear frenzy. They said they plan for several high-traffic events throughout the year, including tenant openings, highly-anticipated movie premieres, Apple product releases and the holiday lighting ceremony.

While we do not discuss specific security protocols, the safety of our visitors is of paramount importance and we work closely with our tenants to ensure we are aware of any high-profile events well in advance, said Beau Arnason, of Steiner Associates, which manages the shopping destination.

Boerger said the shoes are causing a lot of hype and guesses some shoppers may have intended to get the vouchers only to sell the sneakers for a higher price later. 

Boerger said he has worked security details at a hotel gift shop where grandmas fought over Beanie Babies and couldnt believe the behavior. 

He also warned parents about the risk of fads.

"They should know there are incidents where shoes are taken right off their feet as they are going to and from school...just like Starter Jackets back in the '90s, Boerger said.

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