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Virtual mall opens in central Pennsylvania

A businessman from central Pennsylvania opened what he says is the only virtual mall in the United States.

NEW BERLIN, Pa. — Over the last year and a half, we have transitioned many of our daily activities online, especially shopping.

When Union County Businessman Art Lieberman recently saw a lot of empty storefronts, he had an idea to bring local businesses together.

Lieberman created what he calls a "virtual mall."

"It's got storefronts but inside the storefronts generally are their websites," Lieberman said.

SUN Virtual Mall stands for "Snyder Union Northumberland," and it's a mall you don't have to drive to.

Lieberman created the virtual mall so people could find local businesses in one place.

What separates this from typical online shopping is customers can connect with employees using video chat.

"This comes in blue, green, pink, and yellow. Would you like any of those? They're $19.95, and suddenly he's selling directly," Lieberman said.

Right now, there are nearly two dozen stores at the virtual mall, including Mifflinburg Variety. 

Jeff Kauffman sells everything from fabric to shoes at Mifflinburg Variety.  

"A new way of advertising to see what we can do as far as getting more traffic into the store," Kauffman said.

"They figure this is a way to advertise their business, and if they get one or two customers over a month, that could mean continued business for them," Lieberman said.

If you want to check out the SUN Virtual Mall, click here.