Back in the day before social media dominated the world as we know it, malls were the best place to go to meet people, do stuff, hang out, watch a mess of things happen, and shop. However malls have begun to fade away.
Now don’t get me wrong there are still top malls in the country that are doing well because of their size and number of shops, however it was the smaller malls in the country that have faded away over time.
I’m from Baltimore Maryland, and one of the malls we had here “Owings Mills Mall” was completely demolished in 2017, with new construction of a open area “town center” beginning in 2018.
I worked in Owings Mills Mall for a few months at a kiosk and during that time I watched the decline in traffic, while the entire east wing was vacant after it lost one of its anchor department stores. I meet a friend while I worked there and he worked at Boscov’s another anchor department store. Not long after we became friends he was informed that his store was closing. Although the mall continued to stay open almost 30 percent of the store was vacant and more stores where closing fast. I left the mall after my kiosk shop manager decided to shut down his Owings Mills Mall branch. I never went back to that mall until years later to only see half the food court and a few shops still open. I only went back because I heard the Macy’s department store was closing and they had several high quality items that were on sale for cheap.
As I said before the mall used to be a place to hang out as a teen, and in some places malls are still relevant. The very few times I set foot in the mall I see people roaming around and making purchases. Some malls like Towson Town Center here in Maryland are still thriving due to renovations and addressing the needs of the public in the area. The mall is set near two colleges, many condos, restaurants, bars, shopping centers with markets and hospitals. So it continues to receive a lot of foot traffic. Also the Town Center opened a new Cinemark theater in 2014 complete with its own garage and surrounded by new restaurants making it a destination for date night or friends and family hanging out.
Other malls like Owings mills failed to stay relevant because they were out ranked by other more successful malls in the state, and they did’t provide any enticing amenities to the consumer only the underwhelming AMC theater.
The reason I refuse to go to the mall now is because of the people. Personally I have anxiety when it comes to being around a crowd of people for a long period of time, and I become irritable when people are slow and are in my way. When I go to the mall to buy something in particular I’m on a mission for that item, I’m not browsing around looking at things to spend money on. The only other time you see me in a mall is during the holidays when I’m browsing for gifts, until my anxiety reaches its peak.
Online shopping has dominated the the retail industry ever since the revolution of the internet. With places like Amazon.com bringing retailers all across the world to one place while having their own inventory of items found at reduced prices. Competitors like Best Buy and HH Gregg are dwindling in popularity because they lack in variety. Stores like Target and Walmart are staying relevant in the digital age with online pick up options and stores that double as a super market, making it a smart shopping destination for every day shoppers to buy clothes and groceries as well as electronics and sporting goods.
When gas was cheaper people didn’t complain when they ran errands and shopped from store to store, but now people want more convenience and ways to save money. Now that online ordering brings you everything from furniture to food right to your door step there is no need to go out shopping, be in traffic, try to find everything you need and come back home.
When it comes to clothes people will order online but its hard to tell if something will fit the way they want them too, so they will still shop at stores for clothes. I will still shop in stores like Old Navy and Target for clothes, but I won’t go to a mall.
Malls used to be fun back in the day but now they are just overwhelmingly annoying.
How do you feel about malls?
Comment below, thanks for reading.