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'Stranger Things' brings attention to declining Gwinnett County mall

The popular show has brought about some positive change for some of the mall's store owners.

DULUTH, Ga. — If you watch the hit Netflix show "Stranger Things," you may notice a familiar metro-Atlanta backdrop.

Part of the Gwinnett Place Mall in Duluth was utilized as the show's fictitious Starcourt Mall.

The Gwinnett Place Mall has been in decline over the last few years. The once-bustling shopping center is now riddled with vacant storefronts and shuttered doors.

The local mall also made headlines in early 2018 when a woman's body was found abandoned in a Subway.

Some store owners in Gwinnett Place Mall said they have seen an increase in their business since "Stranger Things" began production more than seven months ago.

"They bring me a lot of customers because 300 or 400 people were here and they also give me money," furniture store owner Mordechai Gola said.

"They bring me more customers. I feel it," he said.

Some community leaders also believe that the "Stranger Things" production is good news for Gwinnett Place Mall.

"Filming has given the mall an alternative use for space that would otherwise go unused," Explore Gwinnett Executive Director Lisa Anders said.

She also said the economic impact of the show's production extends beyond the mall, but also into the larger community.

"When you see the scenes in 'Stranger Things' and the mall is full, every one of those people are [paid] extras. 'Stranger Things' is a high-security show and our police officers were used every single day of filming, so it provides a great source of revenue for our public safety officials," she said.

The Georgia film industry lead to $2.7 billion in spending and $9.5 billion in total economic impact in 2018. 

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