The Slow Death of a Shopping Mall

imwjl

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After reading all these comments, I was just thinking about the giant theme park grocery store in Cincinnati called "Jungle Jim's" and wonder how it was doing? I last visited it around 2003 and was basically a large shopping mall disguised as a theme park.

Anyone from Cinci that could fill me in? Are they declining as well?

https://junglejims.com/

I found this. I could not help but look into it via being in the food industry. It was fun to watch because the people I work for still keep the family vibe, and I loved the way the video showed the guy working the front end of the stores. Our customers can be surprised to find the the person working the front end or answering a question is one of the owners.

My feeling is some of the small independents survive the giants because of the culture of the store just as much as the need for business and operations prowess. Grocery is honest hard work and in great stores you see equal parts love given to customers and staff.

 

David C

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Near me, Sears has closed down. The building will be demolished and replaced with high density housing that will be (long) walking distance from The Long Island Railroad. Trains are half full except for a few of them because of the unmentionable plague but railroad employees are still working unmonitored overtime. The mall across from what was Sears is slowly bleeding out, saved only by Target and Chick•FIL•a. Who can eat that stuff? There’s always a line of cars because no one will dare go inside. Amazon is building a distribution center on a contaminated industrial site that would have been a mall except for pathological NIMBY. So the rot’s not just upstate. It’s everywhere.

Not ten miles from the rot, retail is doing well. A mall with a Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and a Neiman Marcus is doing well. It borders a wealthy community and is near enough to not so wealthy communities to provide cheap labor.

What’s happening is that the middle class is slipping down the ladder. A growing degreed professional class that hasn’t learned the discipline of holding onto wealth is taking their place. Their ranks are being added to by recent immigrants who’ve left their homeland with their money before they lose it. Recent immigrants who arrived with nothing keep wages low.

This is where I grew up but it isn’t really. Riches and rot grow side by side while the working class shrinks. Folks struggling are angry with each other but are powerless to change it. So we’ll continue to knock down failed retail and build housing until we can’t. What then? I won’t be around to worry about it. My grandkids are in California where unbridled growth will grind everything to a halt.
This is certainly a cheerful piece to read with my Saturday morning coffee. But a lot of it is really true. I agree about Chik-Fil-A, never eat there and just don't care to do so.
 

Wallo Tweed

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I enjoyed the OP.

Our abandoned malls are parking lots so not that interesting visually. Our abandoned Six Flags on the other hand is creepy as hell..

A few years ago there was was a cool show on the Vice channel called Abandoned, hosted by Canadian skate boarder Rick McCrank. He would visit old malls, theme parks, schools, fishing towns etc. He would interview locals that lived there when the subject of the show was prosperous, and skate board in the ruins.

I don't know if it's still available, but I think you might enjoy it if you can find it.
 

rghill

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In a city with a metro population of nearly 5 million, there are probably two malls that are still going. There was about a dozen a few short years ago.

The decline of the shopping mall started long before the events of the past year or two, and are driven by changes to the way people shop and the the failure of the old stores to change to the new rules. Without the anchor stores, the malls collapse.

Kind of sad - Metrocenter was a huge mall here when I was growing up, and was even the filming location for Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. If you recall the scenes at the mall were pretty much normal day to day for the time the film was made. Last time I was in there there were practically no stores left open. Walmart opened at one end, but decided to not provide an opening into the mall, pretty much dooming it to closure.

UPDATE: Looks like Metrocenter is slated to be demolished to make way for a massive development project.
https://newsdirect.com/news/plans-u...etrocenter-mall-property-in-phoenix-112712993

It's probably a good thing, the area has fallen in recent years and needs investment. The only reasons to go there now is that there is a medium sized amusement park that is still extremely popular, and across the freeway, there is the valley's only Pappadeaux's restaurant.

But this shows the ultimate fate for malls all over the country.
 

imwjl

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Apple Store locations were or are a breath of life for some malls and that's changing. Some are opening as stand alone in mall areas but it seems like those are not the 60s/70s style places. Here the Apple Store moved from the classic 70s sprawl mall to where one of our grocery stores are at that's a mall turned into a neighborhood.

I'll go to Apple Stores for work matters and it occurred to me I don't do any other shopping with those trips. Those malls don't have decent book or shoe stores anymore. The clothiers are more cheap or high and pop fashion than classic good stuff. The demographics in the malls is changed where depending on the mall it's skewed higher or lower seeming mostly lower.

Car dealers are also changing with this and likely only slowed by the protectionist laws some states have.
 

imwjl

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It's going to be lots of fun to drive to an empty mall just to take your broken iPhone to the Apple Store.

I just made a post on the Apple Stores moving or remodeling as stand alone. Crime was also part of why my city's Apple Store moved.
 

KyAnne

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I have a buddy who managed a Walgreens in the early 90s. He went through their manager training program on the north side of Chicago. At that time the store managers were ordered to never engage a shoplifter in any way shape or form. They were to let the person shoplift and walk out of the store because the risk of the person being violent or pulling out a gun or scaring other shoppers who would regularly come to the store was too great. Tom used to know the specific people that would come in the store to steal things and it drove him nuts because he was not allowed to call the police or do anything whatsoever. He would walk up next to people and act like he was inspecting things on the shelves and he would try to scare them into stopping but he could not look them in the eye or engage in any way. He used to talk about it all the time.
That's very sad, when he should've been able to use "any means available" to make sure that guy/gal never EVER did that again.
 

Flat6Driver

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This is certainly a cheerful piece to read with my Saturday morning coffee. But a lot of it is really true. I agree about Chik-Fil-A, never eat there and just don't care to do so.

CFA is one of the few fast food places I will eat. The owner is never far from the location. They are only allowed to own one franchise. 90% of them are super clean and the employees are nice. Plus I can get grilled nuggets.
 

posttoastie

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1200px-FedMart%2C_San_Antonio%2C_Texas_1979.jpg
 

David C

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CFA is one of the few fast food places I will eat. The owner is never far from the location. They are only allowed to own one franchise. 90% of them are super clean and the employees are nice. Plus I can get grilled nuggets.
That's good. I just don't care for the lines and don't eat much fast food anyway. It is a great business, I will say.
 

Milspec

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I found this. I could not help but look into it via being in the food industry. It was fun to watch because the people I work for still keep the family vibe, and I loved the way the video showed the guy working the front end of the stores. Our customers can be surprised to find the the person working the front end or answering a question is one of the owners.

My feeling is some of the small independents survive the giants because of the culture of the store just as much as the need for business and operations prowess. Grocery is honest hard work and in great stores you see equal parts love given to customers and staff.



First time I went there on a business trip, I walked into the liquor store looking for the bathrooms. Along the back wall were 2 porta-johns side-by-side and a "excuse the construction" signage near by. There was a guy in a red jacket walking into the one designated for males so I stood out front of it waiting for him to finish. Then he walked out....only it wasn't the same guy. The guy coming out had a blue vest on.

I was confused, then another guy emerged wearing a suit. Then a kid.

They placed porta-johns in front of the hallways leading to the actual bathrooms. The back of the units were cut out so you would just walk through them to reach the bathroom.

An employee came over laughing and point to a couple of security cameras on the wall and said that it is one of their favorite jokes.

You don't find that a the local grocery store.
 

trancedental

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Some crummy shopping mall owners ended up buying a controlling in interest in my favourite football club. Then they made the club take out a 500m debt to buy the remaining shares. Now they drain the club of cash to service the debts on the their crummy malls and there's not a thing anyone can do about it.

I assume these lot are the same crowd who moved an American Football team from St Louis to Los Angeles despite the fans protesting against the move & the NFL issuing a fine of $600million for breaking regulations.

I live 12 minutes walk from the local stadium & have refused to give any cash to the club since the said individuals took majority control in 2009. :mad:
 

Sax-son

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I assume these lot are the same crowd who moved an American Football team from St Louis to Los Angeles despite the fans protesting against the move & the NFL issuing a fine of $600million for breaking regulations.

I live 12 minutes walk from the local stadium & have refused to give any cash to the club since the said individuals took majority control in 2009. :mad:

There is a term for it, it's called "pump and dump". Created by all these wall street criminals and hedge funds. Classic pyramid scheme.
 

raito

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Apple Store locations were or are a breath of life for some malls and that's changing. Some are opening as stand alone in mall areas but it seems like those are not the 60s/70s style places. Here the Apple Store moved from the classic 70s sprawl mall to where one of our grocery stores are at that's a mall turned into a neighborhood.

I'll go to Apple Stores for work matters and it occurred to me I don't do any other shopping with those trips. Those malls don't have decent book or shoe stores anymore. The clothiers are more cheap or high and pop fashion than classic good stuff. The demographics in the malls is changed where depending on the mall it's skewed higher or lower seeming mostly lower.

Car dealers are also changing with this and likely only slowed by the protectionist laws some states have.

That place was a shopping center, then a mall, and is slowly turning back to a shopping center. Did you know that until recently, the land was owned by the UW?

For you yong guys, assuming there's any here, a shopping center are a bunch of stores in the same place without hallways. Pre-mall, you might say.

Apple store moved from a location where people with money and college students don't go to a place where they do (or can easily). Anchor store and the grocery have changed hands a half dozen times in my lifetime. Was Gimbel's and A&P when I was a boy.
 




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