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Mall Closings
Old 11-01-2017, 02:38 PM   #1
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Mall Closings

A general heading, not just for retail malls that have closed, but those that are closing, or may be closing.

Either way a major change in our lives.

-for shopping... to touch, try on, try out, see in 3D real life, and to take home.

-for social life... kids after school, restaurants, theaters, and social areas for classes, playgrounds, and for winter exercise walking.

-for convenience... all in one exposure to merchandise, as well as centers for life in general, and a mix of society in the geographical area where we live.
.................................................. ...............................................

What's going on in your hometown?

To kick it off, our local mall is central to a thirty mile radius... A full fledged mall... not a strip mall or a specialty mall. The anchor stores are/were:
Bergners- a BonTon Store, which is still there, although the parent company is in the process of closing unprofitable stores. Penney's... which closed in August. Sears, which closed on October 1. (Previously a Sears Holdings' KMart, freestanding store closed a few years ago).
In addition at least 10 kiosks have closed, and 34 major retailer stores that have also been shuttered. Writing is on the wall (formally) for 5 more. The theater, which had been expected to continue, is also falling on hard times. the only theater in the thirty mile area.
There are still about 50 mall stores in full operation, and the mall maintenance is excellent.

While our town still hosts Walmart, Target, Menards, and another 50 or so stores, they are all free standing, or in smallish strip malls...
.................................................. .............................................

On the one hand inconvenience, limited choices, and a major social change. That said some serious economic setback. Consider, for instance, that operations that were open eleven hours a day, seven days a week ...Even in the smallest stores, minimum of two employees at a time, that's nearly a $2000 payroll, all by itself. One small store more than $100,000 in annual wages. No small loss in a town with a population of 10,000. Many, many times that (millions) for some of the larger stores.

Add to that, the loss in town taxes, the cost of maintenance of the ghost buildings, and the trickle down losses to the overall economy, and we're looking at a new economic base for the town... as the education, security, public works and government go on at the same rate as it was just a few years ago.

At that, the full economic impact is likely several years away, as people move away for more stable positions.

As it is, the household income for the town is under $50,000/yr, while, 65 miles away, Naperville Illinois has a median HH income of over $110,000.

That's a thumbnail of our town, and the part the mall played in it.

What's happening in your town?
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Old 11-01-2017, 02:53 PM   #2
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Downtown areas have experienced a rebirth in many towns. Unsupervised kids in the mall is one of the strikes against mall shopping. Our local mall seems to be doing okay, of course one of the anchor stores is JC penney so go figure. The weaker malls will continue to close and those spaces will be redeveloped into more profitable spaces.
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Old 11-01-2017, 02:58 PM   #3
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Retail is doing really bad this year. I see lots of vacancies in strip malls but instead of them getting filled I’m seeing new strip malls popping up instead and their vacancies are minute compared to the outdated strips. In my immediate location there are a half dozen big box buildings that are vacant, been vacant for years, it takes s very specialized business to move into s big box building.

All this being said I bought into a shopping mall REIT last month and it hasn’t been doing very well, already down 5%
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Old 11-01-2017, 03:23 PM   #4
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i haven't set foot in a mall in years. If I want something I usually find the best deal online.
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Old 11-01-2017, 03:40 PM   #5
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My town had a dead mall for maybe a decade. It was featured in a national study of deadpan malls. Today it is being rebuilt into a new vibrant shopping and living area.
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Old 11-01-2017, 03:43 PM   #6
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We have a semi-dead mall, and the anchor stores left a long time ago..

Recently a Dunham's Sporting Goods store moved into one of the anchor slots.....I see it's circular each week in the paper and thier deals are not that great, and most if not ALL of the stuff can be bought online and UPS will bring it to my front door...

So I would say our mall is dead and forgot to fall over....
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Old 11-01-2017, 03:51 PM   #7
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We shall see what happens, we have one very dead mall which most active use is the food court and one of the car dealerships uses part of the parking lot to store like 1000 cars.

However, they did just approve cutting off a section of it and building an IKEA...which will be standalone but share the parking there is some potential it may be used for more than just mall walkers (though I do enjoy mall walking in an empty mall because between humidity, getting dark too soon, and copperheads (yes copperheads), one doesn't think mall walking is so bad.
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:02 PM   #8
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The one near here closed last year and is apparently being rebuilt as a strip mall or malls. I'd wondered how they kept the lights on for as long as they did, we went in there about once a year at most.
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:42 PM   #9
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Here's what I don't understand:

Yes, I know malls have been hit by online shopping. I get that.

What I don't get is how, in the north where's it's freezing 8 months a year and in the south where it's broiling 5 months a year, that these new outdoor shopping districts are being so successful. They're like the old pre-mall "shopping centers"... you have to go back outside to get to a different store.

Give me indoor comfort and not having to run from snowy sidewalks to snowy sidewalks store to store.
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:52 PM   #10
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Does anyone miss five and dime stores? Downtown hardware stores with wooden floors? Single movie theaters? (or for that matter Drive Ins). Independent bakeries?

When I was growing up, the Sears catalogue was pretty cool, clothes were bought at JC Penny and Montgomery Ward sold everything electrical.

All in all, I like inexpensive quality goods - even if bought online. Still saddened by the loss of American jobs.
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Old 11-01-2017, 05:41 PM   #11
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One thing that would help malls IMHO is to really celebrate Christmas. I mean not just fancy decorations, but also to take into account the religious and spiritual aspects of it.

A big local mall near me has professionally decorated trees, lots of professionally decorated areas, Santa photos starting an $25, a big gingerbread house kids can walk through, etc. etc. etc. Everything but the spiritual aspects of the season.

It does not have to be "in your face" Christianity or ignore the secular aspects of Christmas like Saint Nick Santa Claus. But, there is a good feeling about 'Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men' that has been replaced with "Buy more stuff to be happy". They have stripped the season of all its warmth and goodness. IOW, Christmas does not feel like Christmas at these malls. So why go there? Shop online instead.

My 2¢. Take what you wish and leave the rest.
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Old 11-01-2017, 06:08 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by atmsmshr View Post
Does anyone miss five and dime stores? Downtown hardware stores with wooden floors? Single movie theaters? (or for that matter Drive Ins). Independent bakeries?
I definitely miss single movie theaters. They usually had screens bigger than my TV. I still head into DC to the Uptown for big screen movies like the Star Wars or LOTR movies. They tend to be released on or around my birthday, so it's a great time.

And I still prefer independent bakeries. Expensive but usually excellent. Of course, I seldom eat that stuff anymore, but when we have guests we like to buy a nice dessert.
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Old 11-01-2017, 06:26 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
i haven't set foot in a mall in years. If I want something I usually find the best deal online.
I totally agree, and that's the problem. Why would I buy something for more money in a mall or anywhere when it's online and at my door in a couple days. The obvious answer is that there are some things I want to see before I buy them. Unfortunately, there isn't much that fits in that category. It used to be clothes, but even that has diminished. I've bought shoes online and the first ones didn't fit and the second pair did. The return and reorder process was painless and there's no way any local stores would have had the size selection, let alone the style selection that I found online.

The other issue is immediacy. For me, that tends to be either a hardware store or something like Home Depot - not typical mall stores and neither are in the same straights as the mall. The other store is electronics. Best Buy is doing a great job in my opinion on price and availability. I'm not one to go look at something at a store only to go home and buy it online cheaper. Best Buy is pricing well enough that I will buy from them if I find what I like.

The other thing about a mall - at this point in my life, nothing there I want. I don't want to visit a food court, a jewelry store, fashion clothing or any other nick knack stores they have. I just think their time has basically come and they will transition to something else or close.
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Old 11-01-2017, 06:36 PM   #14
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Malls will need to reinvent themselves from being places to buy stuff to places to have experiences. Restaurants, entertainment, coffee shops, movies, and other experiences will help to drive people to malls again. But stalwart stores like JC Penny and Sears will eventually go away. They just can't compete with Amazon, and neighborhoods don't need them any more.

My last few trips to a mall to buy something resulted in zero purchases. There is no way a local store will ever carry the breadth of inventory that Amazon can carry. I don't even bother looking in stores any more.

Recently I needed a small mirror for my shower and thought about driving to Bed Bath and Beyond. After thinking about it a bit more, I realized it would take up over an hour of my time, put 20 miles on my car, and they would probably only have one type of mirror which I may or may not like. By purchasing at Amazon I saved the hour, the miles, and got exactly what I needed, the next day.

So at this point my only reason to go to a mall is the occasional trip to the Apple store to check out the new products. And I'm fine with that.
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Old 11-01-2017, 06:42 PM   #15
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We used to have two malls in town, then an outdoor shopping center opened maybe 10 years ago. The oldest mall, anchored by Sears and JC Penney, closed down last year and was leveled. The other mall, which used to be more fancy, is now dying. In just five years it has really declined and there are now many vacancies and tacky pop-up stores. The outdoor shopping center is the only one doing pretty well. It is expanding and going more upscale.
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Old 11-01-2017, 06:43 PM   #16
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I used to go to the mall on one day around Christmas to buy DW her favorite perfume. Now I ask DD to pick it up for me when she makes her annual mall trip.
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Old 11-01-2017, 07:00 PM   #17
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The mall closest to me just had their "Grand Re-opening" after a $600 Million (you read that right) face lift. They are trying to be a "resort destination mall". snort. They are also building a 30 story high rise of high end apartments... I guess for those folks who like shopping that much!!!

Westfield UTC’s building it, will you come? - La Jolla Light

They are carefully branding themselves as La Jolla (an adjacent neighborhood that is much posher... but the mall is not in La Jolla).

I'm not a mall person. And the fact that they have announced they will charge for parking means I won't be going. DH uses the gym there... but they validate gym users for 3 hours.
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Old 11-01-2017, 07:13 PM   #18
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I hate malls.
Death to all of them.
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Old 11-01-2017, 07:18 PM   #19
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Between the property taxes, security and sky high utilities (AC all summer, Heat all winter), it's no wonder the malls are sinking. Plus the 'babysitting" of pre-teens and teens (mentioned earlier). Look no further than your mailbox-Pennys is having sale upon sale upon sale trying to survive. The margins are razor thin for brick and mortar stores when competing with online sales. No money left to pay for bloated mall overhead.

Goodbye buggy whips. Hello 3-D and hologram shopping on Amazon, etc.
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Old 11-01-2017, 07:23 PM   #20
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One of our malls died years ago when a new mall was built only a few miles away. The dead one was converted to office space for a national auto parts store's home office. I'm not sure, but I can't imagine they're utilizing all of the square footage.

The "new" mall is there, and seems to be doing fairly well. I set foot in there for the first time in years just the other day, mostly out of idle curiosity. I'd like to shop there more, but none of the anchor stores ever have anything I want or need, or clothing in my size. The specialty stores tend to be targeted to a much younger set.

Our "other" mall across town is gasping its last breaths. JC Penny closed its anchor store last year, leaving one. The next largest tenant space was occupied by a for-profit school but they're shutting down after some controversy. I joke that when I moved here in 2010 I called to ask what time they opened, and the reply was, "what time can you be here?"
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