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Old 04-16-2014, 03:01 AM
Location: Houston, TX
14,698 posts, read 8,510,393 times
Reputation: 29413


Originally Posted by OuttaTheLouBurbs View Post
I think the suburban mall as we know it is a dying (or at least shrinking) trend. It's becoming harder and harder for the working and middle class to afford higher-end items at the typical mall anchor stores (Macy's, JC Penney's, etc-Sears seems to be an exception here but is still failing because it's being poorly run). Also, the communities that used to support malls when they were built in the 50s, 60s, and 70s are now becoming older and are no longer interested in shopping at malls anymore, which is a big factor. That's the case at my local mall-everyone's too old to shop there now, so it closed.

Of course, this isn't necessarily good. While unlike you I prefer urbanity over suburbia, I strongly agree with you in that there should be a balance between urban and suburban shopping and living. Loss of malls will be a huge blow to that balance, relegating shopping to only strip malls for the suburbs.
Agreed. On rare occasions, I go to the mall because I need some clothing item I think I can find there. I just don't like the mall experience, especially now that going online makes shopping so much easier. It's too much hassle to try to find what I need, and the items aren't particularly unique. We have a few malls in our city that have basically become ghost towns. They are mostly abandoned with only a few stores open and the mall walkers. I have noticed that every mall in my huge city used to have both a JC Penney and a Sears. Now they only have one of either, and sometimes neither one. I'm not sure how much revenue the large stores pull in at malls versus the small stores and kiosks, especially the large floundering stores like JC Penney and Sears. But the other large stores (Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Dillard's) are doing fine at all the malls in my city.

I will not be disappointed if JC Penney goes under. I tried buying clothes there just a couple of weeks ago. It seems like they do everything they can to make shopping hard, not easy. The floor layout was very confusing, and there are no signs to direct shoppers. Both escalators were broken. The ladies' fitting room was closed completely. And shorts that I picked out were on sale, but I didn't know it because there was no sale sign displayed. I would miss Sears. Although I don't shop there often, I like their clothes. They are reasonably priced and good quality.
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Old 04-16-2014, 05:19 AM
Location: Central CT, sometimes NH.
3,483 posts, read 5,153,573 times
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I went to a mall yesterday in Enfield, CT. It was dead. The Macy's in this mall was very clean with excellent product presentation yet it was empty. The mall is dying. The only area of modest activity was at the Target store attached to it. At the same time a few miles down the road, construction is underway on the new Amazon distribution center. Its goal is to pre-stage popular inventory derived from an ordering algorithm to speed up delivery whereas some items could conceivably be delivered in the same day they were ordered. Amazon is expected to employ about 300 people, mostly warehouse workers at this facility. It is foreseeable that this may be the death punch to many brick-and-motar retailers in the area who will not be able to compete with Amazon's model. The loss of jobs both directly and indirectly as well as the loss of local property taxes are surely to be much greater than the 300 warehouse jobs provided.

As more and more people order on-line for convenience and to save money, it will become a self-fulfilling necessity as there will be fewer people left in the retail sector.
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Old 04-16-2014, 05:57 AM
Location: Florida
4,103 posts, read 4,283,493 times
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I think Malls are (slowly) reinvinting themselves. Some are dying quickly, and others are booming. We have a mall here St Johns Town Center owned by Simon that is a MASSIVE open air mall. It caters more towards mid and high end stores and has 6 starbucks. Its more of a gimmicky thing than just a mall really, the architecture, fish pond, layout, and feel of the place are half the fun. A lot of people just go there to hang out. That might sound like a "no duh" thing to most people, but I havent been to a "regular" mall just to hang out in a LOOOONNNGGG time. Thats something teenagers usually do. However adults do it here at this one because its so trendy and beautiful.

Now in our neighboring town Orange Park they have a mall that is also doing well but for a different reason, its literally the only thing to do in that town.
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Old 04-16-2014, 06:31 AM
Location: EPWV
11,070 posts, read 6,211,618 times
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Originally Posted by the city View Post
I would't say Macy's and Dillards are that low-end. Some of their stuff is, but they also have higher-end lines and stuff to sell.

I've been to some malls that have Macy's and not all Macy's are in that great of shape. Seen one that looked kinda run down, including their bathrooms and it was in an upscale kind of mall/location and another Macy's that the location was ok but not exactly where the locals made as much money as the other one but it was well-kept.

Some malls do well with or without a Sears and/or JC Penney's as it's so-called "anchor" store. These malls have either built a new theater center or they have re-modeled. One is still in the process and the other I believe recently opened but I have not had a chance to go there yet. Other malls have built some nice restaurants on/near the mall which makes shopping even more convenient, [ex: FSK Mall and BJs Restaurant, Frederick, MD ]. Parking is a plus because you don't really need to get back into your car and drive to the restaurant.

On nice days, the open air shopping (ie: outlets) are not bad otherwise, I prefer the mall shopping experience.
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Old 04-16-2014, 06:43 AM
Location: somewhere flat
1,375 posts, read 1,221,293 times
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Originally Posted by the city View Post
I don't think anything could replace Sear's or JcPenney's.

This forum ppl debate which will go first:

Who Will Go First: Sears, JC Penny, or Macy's

I think more people r saying Sear's will. But that blows my mind because Sear's owns Kmart and OSH. Will both of those go under too?

LOL, and catch this commercial:

What Recovery? Sears And J.C. Penney Are Dying | Zero Hedge

"Wait, the movie theater is on the other side," the passenger says.

"But Sears always has parking!" the driver responds.

Maybe JcPenney's can live if Sear's dies? Or maybe both r gonna die. Most malls in America have both those retailers. Lose both, then some working class and middle class communities will begin to lose their malls. Maybe their downtowns will come back?

I don't blame JCPenny or Sears for the loss of "downtowns". That would be Walmart and other discount chains.
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:19 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 27 days ago)
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,030 posts, read 102,707,476 times
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Originally Posted by SoulJourn View Post
I don't blame JCPenny or Sears for the loss of "downtowns". That would be Walmart and other discount chains.
Sears and Penney's used to be all catalog sales. It was sort of like the internet stores of today. You didn't have to go downtown. They were long blamed for the demise of "Mom and Pop" retailers, if not downtowns.

In my area, downtown Lafayette, CO had faded long before Walmart came in. I suspect that is really the case in many cities.
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Old 04-16-2014, 07:42 AM
382 posts, read 646,283 times
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In New Jersey, both Sears and JCP are always busy.
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:16 AM
Location: Northern Maine
9,779 posts, read 14,971,259 times
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Orlandocalrissian is wildly optimistic when saying:

"Malls have been dying for quite a while now. 15% of the ones open today will be closed in 10 years."

In 10 years over half the present malls will be shelters for the homeless. You can't print seven trillion dollars out of nothing and not have an economic collapse. The clock is ticking.
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:25 AM
Location: New England
398 posts, read 583,485 times
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What a painfully gradual process this has been for malls and for stores like Sears, JCP etc. I always expect things to collapse/change overnight and am always... well, disappointed. I won't be one to bemoan the loss of these places or this mall culture.

The mall by us has wayyy too much parking for JCP/Macys/Sears, with very few cars parked there on any given day. However the neighboring Dick's Sporting Goods store in the very same mall is OVER-LOADED. That is what the tourists come here for. So apparently the loss of the big boxes is very dependent on the specific location and the needs of the area. No one answer.
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:55 AM
5,920 posts, read 6,733,271 times
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The guys who bought both of these companies did so when real estate prices were rising. They never thought they were going to be in the retail business. The objective was buy the companies, flip out the retail parts, sell off the real estate, and get rich quick.

Now, they find themselves saddled with retail operations that they know nothing about, and real estate that can't be sold for anything near to the prices they paid. ( I don't shop in these places, but it seems to me that Wal-Mart, JCP, Sears/KMart, Target, Kohls and a host of regionals are all competing for basically the same dollars and many, if not all, are struggling (Wal_Mart, the industry leader, excepted).

So, the stores die, the real estate withers, and yes, ultimately they will make great homeless shelters as long as the government can afford to heat them.
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