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Author Topic: Another nail in the coffin for the American shopping mall...  (Read 472 times)
Mike Irwin
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« on: October 15, 2020, 06:27:23 AM »

Given all that's been going on, I'd not even considered what effect the Kung Flu will have on the American shopping mall.

Hint... it's not going to be good.

This article talks more about the loss of tax revenue if malls are repurposed for other uses, such as warehouses or fulfillment centers...

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/10/15/mall-values-could-b.html

I've not been to a mall to actually shop in quite a few years, and the last time I went to a mall was to meet friends for dinner, and that's been going on 2 years now.

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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2020, 06:48:50 AM »

I was still living in PROM (People's Republic of Minnesota) when the Mall of America was completed - 400+ stores and an amusement park under one roof.

Took my Mom shopping there a number of times - before moving away in '96, collectively, what we bought from one of the mall's four anchor stores exceeded ALL our other purchases there from all other stores COMBINED by a considerable margin.

That one anchor store?

Sears.

No idea how the mall is doing now. I DO remember thinking that a lot of the smaller stores and shops didn't look very much like viable businesses to me then.
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2020, 06:55:03 AM »

Given all that's been going on, I'd not even considered what effect the Kung Flu will have on the American shopping mall.

Hint... it's not going to be good.

This article talks more about the loss of tax revenue if malls are repurposed for other uses, such as warehouses or fulfillment centers...

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/10/15/mall-values-could-b.html

I've not been to a mall to actually shop in quite a few years, and the last time I went to a mall was to meet friends for dinner, and that's been going on 2 years now.



 Tinfoil Hat Smiley  All happening as was planned five years ago, right down to the planned closing of McMurphy's Bar and Grill in Pasadena last week. Except they were off by two days on that one.Tinfoil Hat Smiley

Just kidding.

Right?

Just kidding. grin
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Mike Irwin
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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2020, 06:56:09 AM »

I was a teenager in the 1980s, and the mall was THE place to be. They were always packed. You'd meet up with your friends, hit the arcade, hit a movie, hang out, then grab something to eat at one of the restaurants.

That was a typical Friday and Saturday night until I went to college. When we would get back together during breaks, repeat the process.

It's hard to describe just how vibrant they were.
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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2020, 07:31:54 AM »

There's one mall I go to, ever.  And only because it has the only bookstore for quite a ways around.  Which bookstore (Barnes & Noble) is usually a disappointment for me when I actually do shop there.
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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2020, 07:59:16 AM »

Malls have been dead for twenty years. For some unknown reason the popular thing now seems to be the fake community thing with shops, restaurants movie theaters and housing all planned out and built at one time. Or the parking lot mall with individual stores and anchored by an overpriced grocery, some other big box and god knows what.

Local mall has one store still killing it. The Jesus chicken tossed up a tent in the parking lot and does a lively business with drive through orders.
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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2020, 08:04:14 AM »

I was a teenager in the 1980s, and the mall was THE place to be. They were always packed. You'd meet up with your friends, hit the arcade, hit a movie, hang out, then grab something to eat at one of the restaurants.

That was a typical Friday and Saturday night until I went to college. When we would get back together during breaks, repeat the process.

It's hard to describe just how vibrant they were.

Used to be if we went to a big town/city in the 1980s, we always had to visit the mall.

There is still a small shopping mall in my hometown, 3 anchor stores in it's day. Younkers, JC Pennys and Woolworths. I have been in it in several years, but I miss the food court the most: Super Spud, Corndog Factory and KarmelKorn. Iowa also had a small chain of Mex/American food pub and grub call Diamond Dave's that was in every mall. I miss Diamond Dave's, I'm glad I was 21 before they all folded up in the early 2000s, cheap boozy margaritas and really tasty tacos, so I had about a 10 year run of those margaritas.

88-92 when I was in HS, In the winter, the mall was the place to be as a teenager on Friday and Saturday nights, too cold to cruise the city park and drag downtown, so it was to the mall around 7pm to walk around and see friends/chase girls. 9pm either you went to a movie or headed to the bowling alley for lunar bowling.
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Mike Irwin
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« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2020, 08:05:54 AM »

"For some unknown reason the popular thing now seems to be the fake community thing with shops, restaurants movie theaters and housing all planned out and built at one time."

One of those is in the process of opening near my house in Northern Virginia. Luxury condos/apartments, service stores, and my personal favorite, a version of the grocery store that I like to shop at.
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« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2020, 08:13:29 AM »

Having a shooting or three in your local mall will certainly kill it. 
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Mike Irwin
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« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2020, 08:22:22 AM »

Having a shooting or three in your local mall will certainly kill it. 

Springfield Mall, Springfield, Virginia.

They finally pretty much razed it and returned it to the old multi-store shopping center concept that came before malls. It's doing quite well, apparently. Now they call them Town Centers, I believe.
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« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2020, 08:48:32 AM »

There's a mall here in AZ that used to be so vibrant when I first moved here in 2000, that's turned into a ghetto ghost town in the last 5 years, called Fiesta Mall. 

Quote
There's one mall I go to, ever.  And only because it has the only bookstore for quite a ways around.  Which bookstore (Barnes & Noble) is usually a disappointment for me when I actually do shop there.

^^This hit the nail on the head.

Across the street from my mall, there used to be a fantastic Borders bookstore.  I used to hang out there weekend mornings, browse the stacks, have a cup of coffee and read for hours.  I remember one time Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson were there signing copies of their rape of Frank Herbert's universe and I went up and told them that their ilk were the herpes of literature.  Borders was so much better than Barnes & Noble.  B&N tends to have those humongous display stacks of 100+ copies of just one book that take up the entire foyer and lobby area, and Borders tended to favor a lot more variety.  B&N doesn't seem to have any more variety than an airport bookstore or a mall sized Waldenbooks, they just have deeper inventory.

In the mall proper, there was a Waldenbooks, a comic shop, and a knife shop that I would frequent, and I could never leave a mall without hitting Orange Julius or Sbarros. 

The death of the bookstore and the vilification of male culture drove out my reason for visiting malls.  The 86 remaining tween fashion stores lack appeal to me or similar people to my demographic and the mall lost the revenue I brought.
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« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2020, 09:35:58 AM »

Midtown Shopping Center here opened in 1959 with Sears as its anchor store, and a 32 lane bowling center in the basement.  Then Pueblo Mall opened about 1980 and was a big hit.  They're both still open but Midtown is mainly the bowling alley and a few specialty shops.  The Mall lost Sears when they went out of business.   I haven't been there in several years.

Between the two though, what they did was kill downtown.  As an old timer, I really miss Christmas shopping downtown.
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« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2020, 10:51:07 AM »

Having a shooting or three in your local mall will certainly kill it. 

Did someone say mall shooting?  Popular at Cherryvale Mall, in Rockford IL, home of the only bookstore for miles and miles.
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« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2020, 10:57:32 AM »

There's a mall here in AZ that used to be so vibrant when I first moved here in 2000, that's turned into a ghetto ghost town in the last 5 years, called Fiesta Mall. 

^^This hit the nail on the head.

Across the street from my mall, there used to be a fantastic Borders bookstore.  I used to hang out there weekend mornings, browse the stacks, have a cup of coffee and read for hours.  I remember one time Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson were there signing copies of their rape of Frank Herbert's universe and I went up and told them that their ilk were the herpes of literature.  Borders was so much better than Barnes & Noble.  B&N tends to have those humongous display stacks of 100+ copies of just one book that take up the entire foyer and lobby area, and Borders tended to favor a lot more variety.  B&N doesn't seem to have any more variety than an airport bookstore or a mall sized Waldenbooks, they just have deeper inventory.

The last time, or the time before, I was in the local ("local" -- it's 40 miles away) B&N, I saw signs things were not well, commercially.  They had rearranged things to make it look like they had more product than they did.  Tables spaced wider, top shelf left empty as though it were for decoration.

And of course, "science fiction" (considered broadly) is down to 2 or 3 shelving units.  It was a whole dang aisle when Border's was open.

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« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2020, 11:01:09 AM »

  The 86 remaining tween fashion stores lack appeal to me or similar people to my demographic and the mall lost the revenue I brought.

Word.  It seems as if the local malls are great places to shop if you are a youngish woman, not so much if you are outside that demographic.
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« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2020, 11:01:25 AM »

There's a mall here in AZ that used to be so vibrant when I first moved here in 2000, that's turned into a ghetto ghost town in the last 5 years, called Fiesta Mall. 

This reminds me of a Chris Rock bit:

"Every town's got two malls: they got the white mall and the mall white people used to go to." 

https://comicbook.com/tv-shows/news/chris-rock-first-saturday-night-live-opening-monologue/


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« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2020, 01:29:28 PM »

No one's mentioned the hipsterization, or maybe the boutique-ization of America's consumer preferences.* Shopping at the mall, for mass-produced norm-core gear is "so basic." It's now essential we get our clothes and herbal teas from a blue-haired girl at a vintage thrift store, or a blue-haired girl selling handmade goods on Etsy.

Word.  It seems as if the local malls are great places to shop if you are a youngish woman, not so much if you are outside that demographic.


Around here, the malls are great, if you like suits in very bright, solid colors.

*I non-sincerely apologize to the LGQT-EIB-Marley&ME community for using the word "preference."

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« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2020, 03:28:57 PM »

Back in the 70s and 80s you could go to the mall and there were book stores, pet shops, electronics, tools, toys, music shops, men's along with women's clothing, and you could even have your car's oil and tires changed while you shop. Many even had decent restaurants. Seem like starting in the 90s they started being almost nothing but teenage girl type clothing stores with rude obnoxious packs of teenagers running amuck.
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Mike Irwin
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« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2020, 03:28:41 AM »

Good god, that monolog mentioned Chess King. I've not thought about that store since... the 1980s.
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« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2020, 03:55:11 AM »

The local movie theater is attached to a mall.  I occasionally look for clothes at Dillard's at the local mall.  I just park at the store and walk in.  I don't go to the actual mall.

When I was younger, the mall had bookstores and music stores.  Best Buy stores came in with CD's much cheaper and amazon covers the books.  I guess malls have a lot of clothing stores attached which is good every now and then. 
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« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2020, 04:58:28 AM »

Was reminded that shortly after Mall of America opened, there actually WAS a shooting there. One of the other malls responded by selling T-shirts with a printed blood spatter and lettering that said "I visited Mall of America and all I got was a lousy flesh wound."  Now THAT is timely marketing!

Rent at malls with large common indoor areas is more expensive because of utilities (heating, cooling) and upkeep, so there's less incentive today to build a large enclosed mall. And with fewer anchor tenants (Sears is gone, JCPenny is on the rocks, Macy's is struggling, Target is closing stores) it's more difficult to justify the investment.

Plus, in some areas, a fairly unsavory bunch of "youngsters" likes to congregate in the mall and harass people. I remember several decades ago the chief of police in St. Paul, MN said that business was falling off at the downtown "Town Square" shopping area because groups of minority youths were causing problems - and he was a democrat! Boy, did THAT ever set off an s-storm of protest! All manner of commentators, organizers, and what-have-you came out all called him racist, sexist, bigoted, insensitive, and every other word you can think of.

Or almost every word - I don't recall even his most vocal critics claiming that what he said was factually wrong.
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« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2020, 06:00:11 AM »


Rent at malls with large common indoor areas is more expensive because of utilities (heating, cooling) and upkeep, so there's less incentive today to build a large enclosed mall. And with fewer anchor tenants (Sears is gone, JCPenny is on the rocks, Macy's is struggling, Target is closing stores) it's more difficult to justify the investment.


Any mall with a Target, Kmart, Walmart or similar store is already well on its way into decline.  If there's shopping carts, it's doomed.  And that was back in the late 90's.

There were two malls in Walla Walla when I was in high school.  The old one on the north end of town, and the new one on the south end of town.  The old one was doomed when a grocery store opened as an anchor.  The new one was doomed when a Target became an anchor.  Now neither exist at all and have been flattened.
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« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2020, 06:39:42 AM »

http://www.deadmalls.com/stories.html.   (Somewhat dated.)
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