December 30, 2008

Are Shopping Malls Finished?

Chadwick Matlin at Slate suggests that the shopping mall as a retail environment is finished. Rod Dreher agrees and has interesting reader comments.

At the Pueblo Mall, Steve & Barry's barely opened before it was closed again, another story of bankruptcy from a chain store that tried to be everywhere at once.

Writes Matlin, "At the risk of getting Gladwellian, every store that closes has an impact on the shops left behind. Walking through a half-empty mall is an unsettling experience; it feels as dreadful as Dawn of the Dead, just without the zombies."

I never heard the term "pimple-collar job" before, but it's obvious.


Anonymous said...

The owners and leadership at these new stores need to read up on Sam Walton. He and his company had it figured out. I call our local Wal-Mart the "Canon City Mall". It's the cultural center of the universe in Fremont County. :)

Chas S. Clifton said...

As some of Rod Dreher's commenters pointed out, big-box stores can kill malls, but big boxes do not try to create a fake shopping-street or public-square environment. They are just product + parking lot.