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Thread: What's killing shopping malls?

  1. Top | #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyfingers View Post
    Except for grocery and regular household supplies I very rarely go shopping.

    This is because I got sick of going to 5 different stores and still to find that they don't have what I am looking for. Assortment sucks. So I go online.
    I do the same thing, but there isn't a mall within 30 miles of me, and the closest one has become run down. Part of the problem for that mall is that the local demographics have drastically changed over the past 20 years. What was once a middle class area, is now populated primarily by low income families. Over time, all things change, don't they?

    But, it is much easier to find what you want online, than it is in a mall or traditional store. If I had to buy what I need in a store, I'd be wasting gas, and time because I'd have to drive all over the place.

    Locally, Walmart and a few big box stores seem to be doing very well, but most the mom and pop stores have gone out fo business. Malls do tend to be more expensive compared to all the discount stores that are now very common.

  2. Top | #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by southernhybrid View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by crazyfingers View Post
    Except for grocery and regular household supplies I very rarely go shopping.

    This is because I got sick of going to 5 different stores and still to find that they don't have what I am looking for. Assortment sucks. So I go online.
    I do the same thing, but there isn't a mall within 30 miles of me, and the closest one has become run down. Part of the problem for that mall is that the local demographics have drastically changed over the past 20 years. What was once a middle class area, is now populated primarily by low income families. Over time, all things change, don't they?

    But, it is much easier to find what you want online, than it is in a mall or traditional store. If I had to buy what I need in a store, I'd be wasting gas, and time because I'd have to drive all over the place.

    Locally, Walmart and a few big box stores seem to be doing very well, but most the mom and pop stores have gone out fo business. Malls do tend to be more expensive compared to all the discount stores that are now very common.
    That seems to be the crux of it. The advantage of shopping in-store is that you get the thing right away, but there's no more value when you can't get the thing at all. Before the internet you didn't have an alternative, now that you do it's very hard for box stores to find a competitive advantage.

    As we purchase items for our coming baby we've tried to shop at local stores, but time after time they don't have what we want and we end up just ordering from their online stock. The take home is that I could have sat in the comfort of my own home, tea in hand, and ordered on Amazon for the same price, and actually saved money on gas.

  3. Top | #23
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    Weren’t malls dying even before internet shopping became common?

  4. Top | #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by hurtinbuckaroo View Post
    Weren’t malls dying even before internet shopping became common?
    Yes. People used to shop at malls because it was a form of one stop shopping. Malls also experienced their heyday before there were 1000 different kinds of tape to choose from.

  5. Top | #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by angelo View Post
    I've bought two pair leather shoes online. The quality was exemplary. But one pair was too tight, and the other too big. I specified size 9 UK on both occasions. Needless to say, I'll never buy shoes online again.
    I wouldn't go quite that far. I've bought shoes on-line--but I already knew they would fit and I knew I could return them locally if I needed to. (I have a big problem with finding my size.) I've also bought clothes on-line, mostly stuff I already knew would fit--and the stuff I haven't already owned some of has been hiking-related stuff that wasn't available locally.

    But I've had nothing to complain about buying prescription glasses online, and saved hundreds of dollars in the bargain. The trick is to go to an optician to get a script, by law they have to give it to you. [ make sure the PD is included in the script] Then go online to the many online spec retailers.

    I've bought perhaps more than 2 dozen specs over the years from a company called Selectspecs. I've yet to receive a dud pair, or something I wasn't happy with. As for adjustment. Once you receive your order, in most cases, around 3 weeks maximum, if glasses don't fit properly. Take them to any optician who'll adjust them for free.
    If enough people do that you'll find they don't adjust for free without a receipt.

  6. Top | #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by hurtinbuckaroo View Post
    Weren’t malls dying even before internet shopping became common?
    I don't think so. I think 80s and 90s were the heyday of malls and the decline only came in 2000s, when Amazon etc. became big.

  7. Top | #27
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    I have had no use for indoor shopping malls for at least 20 years or more. Shoes, clothes, jewelry and other useless stores are 80% of the space. If there was a Target attached I'd go to the Target but the rest of the mall is useless.

  8. Top | #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bronzeage View Post
    The big retail chains from the 20th century are declining and I don't think there is a common element between them. Sears and Macy's don't occupy the same market segment. The problem with a mall is it is the most expensive retail space possible. This is especially true of the multilevel atrium style mall, complete with it's palm trees and water falls. The store operator pays for their retail space and the operating costs of heating and cooling a space nearly as large as the actual sales floor square footage. The big "anchor" stores have a symbiotic relationship with the Spencer's Gifts, the three dozen women's wear shops, and the fresh baked giant cookie stand. It's a business model which depends on high shopper traffic and the slightest drop in customers means marginal businesses have to shut down. As the anchor stores become marginal, the mall dies.
    I would think the mall would be cheaper to heat/cool than the same amount of retail space in a bunch of separate stores. The volume that is controlled is only relevant if you need to bring it to the correct temperature, otherwise it's all about inputs and outputs. Your inputs are the floor/walls/roof and the heat released by all the equipment & people inside. (In operation the Mall of America does not need heating even in mid-winter.)

    Furthermore, you have less entry/exit to the temperature controlled space and it's more common to see doubled doors on mall entrances than store entrances.

    As for the death of the anchors--I'm thinking of the closest indoor mall. Every anchor that has closed had previously closed another store around town that wasn't in the mall.
    Anchor stores tend to be one of the old chain stores and while their problems may be independent of their mall locations, losing an anchor store can kill a mall.

    The HVAC expense may be cheaper, when averaged over the entire mall, but that's little comfort to rent payers. The entire cost is supported by the retail space. Walmart is a fairly large space to air condition, but they aren't trying to cool the parking lot.

  9. Top | #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by hurtinbuckaroo View Post
    Weren’t malls dying even before internet shopping became common?
    I would assume that there are two separate factors in play, the first being growing income inequality and transient industry, the second being the internet. It's possible that in places where industry and wealth has declined malls have gone by the wayside before the internet, and then saw their death-knell after the internet.

    Where in places that are still economically prosperous the internet is likely the main factor.

  10. Top | #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
    An interesting trend I've seen: Every indoor mall around here is in a bad way. However, we have multiple recent outdoor malls that seem to be faring much better. I'm wondering if the ability to drive a lot closer to the door has something to do with it.
    less operating cost when there is no lighting or hvac. That's a huge reduction in cost for a business owner to lease a spot to sell things.

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