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The Shopping Mall Survives

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kernals12:
The Atlantic had a great review of Meet Me By The Fountain by Alexandra Lange.

Predictions of the demise of the shopping mall go back decades and recently, photos of "dead malls" have been a staple in the press. But did you know mall visits in 2021 were 5% higher than before the pandemic?

The book debunks the snobbery shoveled at the mall by so many, including Victor Gruen, the man who invented it. The author notes what should be very obvious: that the mall is not just a place to spend money, but serves as a meeting place, just like Main Street used to be. She also notes how malls have adapted with new non-retail tenants.

I agree 100%. I find my local mall, Natick Mall, much more lively than Downtown Wellesley could ever hope to be. There are people from all walks of life there. And the mall is adapting. The space left behind when Sears closed has been replaced by a Wegmans. They also have apartments. Of course, that's not nearly as far as other malls have gone with aquariums, movie theaters, fine dining, and even offices.

I think the mall is going to be around for a long time to come.

Max Rockatansky:
The indoor mall is about as dead as it can be.  There is a lot of reasons that concept was already in decline by the turn of the century, even really before online retail took off.  All the same there will always be a place for brick and mortar retail, even if it takes up less of the overall retail market share.  Strip malls/shopping centers seems to be the model that has held up versus the indoor mall.

In the retail business Iím part of we basically bottomed out around 2018-2019.  We actually really didnít see much of a hit during 2020 despite COVID restrictions and there was a substantial rebound year in 2021.  Really though the main store isnít what is growing, it is things like unstaffed mini markets and other smaller stores that carry mainly grab-n-go consumables. 

kphoger:
A 5% increase from pre-pandemic levels doesn't mean much if that level was already substantially lower than a few years earlier.

triplemultiplex:
Could have fooled me that malls aren't dinosaurs plodding toward extinction based on any time I've ever driven past the two malls in my city.  Giant, empty parking lots all the time.  One of them has Dave & Busters as an anchor tenant. (D&B: the suburban arcade for alcoholic man-children. :-D )

Malls in the 20th century sense are never going to be "cool" again.  That's why they're tearing so many of them down these days and turning them into fake downtowns with names that contain pretentious misspellings of "town" and "center". :P

kernals12:

--- Quote from: triplemultiplex on June 22, 2022, 11:59:51 AM ---Could have fooled me that malls aren't dinosaurs plodding toward extinction based on any time I've ever driven past the two malls in my city.  Giant, empty parking lots all the time.  One of them has Dave & Busters as an anchor tenant. (D&B: the suburban arcade for alcoholic man-children. :-D )

Malls in the 20th century sense are never going to be "cool" again.  That's why they're tearing so many of them down these days and turning them into fake downtowns with names that contain pretentious misspellings of "town" and "center". :P

--- End quote ---

Have you walked inside those malls? Many of them have oversized parking lots for Black Friday.

I haven't encountered any dead malls. In my neck of the woods, Natick malls is doing fine, so are the shops at Chestnut Hill and the Burlington mall just finished a major expansion. My childhood mall in Danbury, CT was also bustling when I last visited.

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