I was reading yet another article about how malls have become ghost towns.
We don't go to the mall very often. Sometimes we'll go there to catch a movie and have lunch in the food court or browse around for a bit. We usually do a bit of back to school shopping there.
I've noticed a few changes over the years at the mall near my house -- more service type shops (dental offices, nail salons, a key shop, shoe repair, even a tattoo shop) -- but on the whole the mall seems fairly busy. It's not a ghost town but it certainly isn't what the mall used to be.
One of the malls here just announced that Nordstrom is closing that store. The news was followed by a flurry of other stores at that mall announcing that they'd be closing too.
I don't know, haven't been to the mall hardly at all since I've gotten to Albuquerque, which was in early 2006. Last time I was there, I think, was to go to a sort of a pan asian restaurant, entrance from the parking lot. Before that, I remember it inside as being a normal sort of mall, though I don't remember sensing it was crowded.
Back in northern California, I went to the mall, oh, maybe once every three or four months. I liked my small town's downtown shops, most of them non-chain - and they were closer to where I lived and worked.
LA had some great malls in my area - one had an art movie 'house' (where I saw Shoah); another one had one of the best grocery stores in the city. Don't know how it's going now. Guessing I was last in a mall there in '98.
Wed 12 Feb, 2014 12:38 pm
Malls themselves don't hold very much appeal to me. The only one I go to on a semiregular basis is the Atlantic Center Mall here in Brooklyn because it has a Target for an anchor store. That Target and the Bath and Body Works are the only two stores I shop at in that mall. And I only get the wallflower refills when they're on sale at Bath and Body Works (so even that's a rare visit).
Wed 12 Feb, 2014 01:01 pm
I do most of my shopping in our neighborhood which has a couple of streets full of shops and restaurants, etc. so there isn't much need to go to the mall but honestly, I kind of enjoy it when we go there.
The people watching is great, for one, and everything is dry, for two. Our mall has a lot of localish type stores including one of the most amazing kitchen gear stores ever. The "Made in Oregon" store sells only things made in Oregon and some of it is super cool -- Mo likes their T-shirts and I like to drool over the Pendelton blankets.
Wed 12 Feb, 2014 01:07 pm
The last time I went to The Mall was 2012, when I saw the Trooping of the Colour.
I haven't been to a Gap in years but I did stop in an Old Navy store recently looking for some track pants/sweat pants/whatever they're called for Mo a week or so ago.
They had some really nice ones for $18! The one's I'd been looking at at the sporting good stores were around $50.
Color me impressed.
I might go back and get some for me since Mr. B and I have been hitting yoga on a regular basis and I could use some comfy yoga duds.
Wed 12 Feb, 2014 01:19 pm
We have a small mall in our town. You kinda described the same sort of service places that are now in the mall and even to the tattoo shop.
Alot of shops close down and new ones go in. It is somewhat busy - but only as busy as a small mall in small town would be. Doesn't even have a food court. But the local kids can go there - it is safe and it is great if you have to run out and get something - it has an ac moore which is great for the kids school projects - much less than office max next door. It doesn't have any high end stores - the highest end store is Macy's. It has Walmart, Sears, JC Penny - no Gap, but Old Navy, Fye, of course the horrid Justice (that my pre-teen loves), and some other smaller type clothes, shoes stores, McD, DQ, subway and a couple of other smaller type take out style restaurants, and Outback.
But we have, for a small town, many of the other larger boxy types like we have both Petco and Petsmart, Office Max, two sleepys (why two and just a half mile from each other), a target - we probably have these as we are centrally located near lots of small towns so we get a draw of the surrounding communities.
But there is a larger mall in just several towns away and that place is almost always crowded. So I cannot see how that would be a ghost town. Every weekend it is very crowded - I try to avoid it during the peak times as a result.
It almost seems like the mall is becoming MORE local as big retailers switch to doing a lot of their business online.
One thing that amazes me is how many shops are boy-centric. There are three sports paraphernalia shops that sell fan gear and another that sells just fan gear for the Oregon Ducks. (All of them do sell some girl things but it is obviously an afterthought.) There are two shoe stores devoted to boys, and a "man cave" store that sells strange things, and an RC toy store, and a video game store.
Then there are the stores with such limited scope that you wonder how in the world they stay in business. "Oil and Vinegar" sells only oil and vinegar. Weird.
We also have some of those sports/fan gear stores. We also see alot of the seasonal stores - ones that open just for a couple of months - calendar store, toy store, Christmas store - obviously for Christmas. We even had a haunted house in one of the stores at Halloween.
What is the deal in general with not having more girls' sports stuff - I run into this all the time. We go into Dick's and there is all this crap and clothes for boys and then like one rack for girls' clothes. We even ended up getting boys basketball shoes for my younger daughter due to lack of choices for girls and have purchased boys shorts, etc. because of it.
That damn calendar store had a calendar for every sport - but no softball - they even had surfing - imagine that in New England having a surfing calendar over softball.
And this thread needs a soundtrack, like all threads do.
Wed 12 Feb, 2014 02:29 pm
We were at the Nike store for Mo to try on shoes a while back. I saw some I really liked and asked them if they made them in boy sizes. The salesperson told me that all Nike shoes are genderless, they're just sized differently and usually come in different colors.
I love, love the Nike store. It has saved me hours of frustration when buying shoes for Mo. If I lived anywhere else I'd travel to Portland just to shop at the Nike store.
We usually have to go to this store for my older daughter - her feet are long and narrow (like mine) but unlike me - is extremely picky as to fit. It seems Nike is one of the few that really fit her well. And usually it is the most expensive pair of course that fit the best. I guess I never noticed the non-gender thing - or maybe it is new?
Great idea though - my younger daughter I can usually get away buying cheaper shoes for - although for athletics I do want to make sure they get good shoes as I'm afraid they wouldn't get the right support and could injure themselves.
Nike Air Max pretty much saved my feet years ago - I have high arches and without the right support and cushioning, the bones in the ball of my foot hurt like crazy if I'm walking a lot on concrete, much less jogging miles. They need the set up to "roll like they should, instead of slap". My first pair of running shoes were men's adidas - they didn't make running shoes for women then, or at least not in L.A. stores... told to try them by my orthopedist.
By now I can use a few other brands' shoes depending on their characteristics.
Thu 13 Feb, 2014 12:08 pm
I probably go once a month I guess and just hit local shops or order online in between. The mall is a treat for me, even going alone I love it but better with friends and to make a day of it and have something to eat too. I normally go on weekdays so it's pretty quiet but I guess on the weekend it's busier
Fri 14 Feb, 2014 10:47 am
Just after reading this thread, Diane and I went yesterday to check out one of the few italian oriented type shops in this city, a place recommended by her neighbor, who mentioned they have good olive oil. Yep, it turned out to be an oil and vinegar store called ABQ Oil and Vinegar (there are some other items, but by and large it's all about oil and vinegar).
It isn't in a big mall, just a small cluster of pretty nice shops and a loved local restaurant that a2kers have gone to as a group a few times, at the 'western' beginning of Corrales Road. Elegant place, I think, as I walk in the door. I was immediately disappointed I wasn't facing a large set of choices of great olives or selection of italian cold cuts or other goodies, at the same time I was knocked out by the strength of their emphasis on really good oils and vinegars and the different blends of each of those. It's a tasting room, so you don't just buy a mystery bottle. They have a shelving of herbs and spices, and an interesting gathering of different kinds of salts (again, there are samples for tasting) - many kind of flavored salts that I've never heard of, like smoked paprika salt. Items for dispensing stuff from bottles - like a cork with pourer with wee lid. I've had one of those for years, always use it, and am glad to find out where to get more of them. Prices aren't bad, to my eye - not higher at the highest amount than from my old favorite grocery in california, Oakville Grocery, and those prices were about eight years ago. Maybe they are equal to the higher prices of my local not at all sophisticated grocery, but not higher, so I'd say this store is quite reasonable for it's products.
There's plenty of information about what foods/liquids to use the oils and vinegars, depending on their flavors, and a person right there to talk with you... quite possibly since the store is small and there's no crowd. Good for a customer, maybe hard on the store income.
Diane sprung for a small bottle of one of the balsamic vinegars she tried. After we left we talked about how for years now we've grumbled about how all the best places hover on the other side of the city from us - which seems weird, as our area is not posh, your basic housing tracts, but essentially pretty nice in a pretty place. I'd say Corrales, up the road from the store, is more desirable, more interesting than tracts, but not particularly more sophisticated, a notch up money-wise. Anyway, we worry how the shop will do. I can see it being busy at the holidays, gift time. Can easily see it as a destination for foodies here, whatever part of the city they live in, once they find out about it. Do we have enough foodies in the population? I hope so - I like the store a lot, including that they chose to put it in that particular small mall, across the road from a pretty good grocery store and next to that good local restaurant, therefore a triple destination place.
Fri 14 Feb, 2014 10:53 am
Have not been to a mall in ages. Never really liked the huge ones much anyway and prefer regular stores along the streets.
Wed 12 Mar, 2014 01:17 am
Yes .. i have also heard a few stores in malls are closing down.