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Dead Malls and the Generational Cycle
#41
Stores are still being built. Enclosed malls are not, and are often changed to stores with exterior entrances only.
This is true even in places with harsh climate much of the year.
Why? Lack of security and ability to prevent problematic persons from taking over the public space.
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#42
[quote pid='34583' dateline='1517204148']
(01-28-2018, 07:12 PM)bobc Wrote: Stores are still being built. Enclosed malls are not, and are often changed to stores with exterior entrances only.
This is true even in places with harsh climate much of the year.
Why? Lack of security and ability to prevent problematic persons from taking over the public space.

As I last read, the last enclosed mall built in America was built in 2006. It's not that there was a boom in building malls that ended abruptly in the economic meltdown of 2007-2009; they were understood to be a losing proposition before then. Many of the malls that wend dead were already at or past the end of their projected service life -- that is, they were fully depreciated.

Shopping malls are expensive to build and maintain. They require huge amounts of parking space, and their public space requires expensive HVAC.  The public space is typically a loss-taker for the developer-lessor. The economic justification for a shopping mall was that the mall attracted a large number of middle-class shoppers who had money to burn not only in the department stores (business term "anchors") at the ends, small chain retailers in between, and the food court. The middle-class shoppers (typically white, as they were the most predictable and needed fewer accommodations for their culture) could be expected to spend freely, not caring that they were paying full retail unlike proles who were going to K-Mart (and later, Wal*Mart, Target, or even Dollar General, Family Dollar, or Big Lots). Eventually Wal*Mart started taking over sections of some malls, and Wal*Mart can undercut the boutique stores that compete with Wal*Mart on merchandise -- if those stores exist. But what the heck? Well-heeled customers justify expensive operations, and not-so-well-heeled customers never were the desired customers at the mall.

The thrill is gone. A warning sign was the 'mall rats' , a suburban version  of urban delinquents who might have spent a little money at a video arcade and the food court, but certainly not at a boutique, let alone the department stores (which already had a rather old clientele by the 1980s) -- and businesses that have an aging clientele not being replaced by a steady stream of younger clients faces doom from demographic trends alone (think of Montgomery-Ward) . People used to go there as entertainment, of all things. Now they have surfeits of recorded music and video, so they need not go to the mall. The stores are changing. Some places now deal in used goods as well as new, or in things unthinkable in a mall in the 1960s -. like building materials and close-out items. If you ever see a Five Below store... here's my warning. You will find cheap stuff that will go to the landfill fast.
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(a few modifications of an older post since deleted).
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#43
As for brick and mortar, the big box stores proliferated. I now think of these are average in terms or today's retail. A few enclosed malls might survive, offering what passes for higher end retail.
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#44
American retail space is now overbuilt.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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