Friday, September 11, 2015

Are We Reaching the End of The Shopping Mall?

Back in the day when my mom took us shopping for school clothes seemed to be the beginning of the mall's popularity. At that time we only had two choices. By the time I was a teenager, they seemed to pop up all over the place. The day after Thanksgiving was a special treat because all the ladies in the family would meet at my mom's house and we'd head to Woodfield Mall Illinois. It was a blast! We also thought it was a treat because the malls had extended hours for Christmas. Back when I was much, much younger, they opened at eight instead of nine or ten, and no one camped out in the freezing cold at two in the morning to get that camera for $85 instead of $200. Crazy! And there is no way you'd catch me near any store the day after Thanksgiving anymore! That is now my decorating day so I don't have to face the crowds.  

Now it seems like many are closing down while the big box stores and outlet stores are popping up all over the place. The area where I live is growing like crazy with stores and restaurants. Our poor mall only has two stores left, Carson's and Sears. Penney's just closed their doors there and I'm wondering how much longer the two remaining stores will be there. After all, they opened a Kohls, OfficeMax, Ross, Hobby Lobby, and many others just across the street and down the road. 

It seems like the malls and cute little shopping towns are sliding slowly into history. In the photos above you will see my latest trip to the mall. It was actually eerie. It's the mall I mentioned that has only two stores left. All my special shopping days will remain in my memory and my heart forever!


  1. I remember when I was growing up we only had downtown shopping or plazas. There was a mall that was built when I was in jr high and it's still very large and very crowded. It's grown quite a bit since back in the day and I can remember when I was in high school we spent most of our time there. Won't catch me going there these days and I NEVER shop the day after Thanksgiving.

  2. Malls are struggling here, too. They never bounced back after the recession. I used to really enjoy going to the mall with my kids, although I never was a good Black Friday shoppers. IMHO
    1) More people are shopping online.
    2) More people who can afford to shop are looking for unique items (smaller shops or specialty stores) -- I see more neighborhood strip malls with specialty shops, but many of those are struggling, too.
    3) Malls needed a strong middle class -- people with free time and disposable income. The middle class is shrinking, and many people now need to work two jobs to stay there. I juggle 3 part-time jobs and a full-time job which pays a fraction of what I earned at a "real" job before being downsized during the Recession.
    I can pay the bills, but my shopping is mostly confined to buying smaller birthday presents and Christmas gifts for the grandkids. I haven't been to a mall in almost 8 years.

    I am not alone. Many people (at least in my area) who used to stroll in the malls, shopping and chatting and eating at the food court, now don't have the time or money to do that. They might shop at Wal-Mart or SuperTarget for necessities - and occasionally clothes. Thrift shops are thriving :-(.


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