The Rise And Fall Of The US Mall
The United States’ first-ever shopping mall was built in 1956 and with it came the thought that it was a key to an evolutionary way shop, leading to similar complexes being built. Shoppers found it convenient because they could do all their shopping from one place. Despite how popular they were once, the population of shoppers visiting them, decreased and the loss of potential customers caused led to the closure of most of them. Besides that, there are plenty of reasons why shopping malls lose the ever glowing spark that they once had and leave no choice, but to shut them down.
Shopping malls, today, do not carry the same meaning they had back in the 80s or 90s when teenagers would go there on special dates or to spend a weekend with their friends. Malls no longer have a social connection because there’s social media now. The rise of online businesses has impacted the survival of malls because the masses of people that once crowded shopping malls, now shop for things using their phones and computers. Online businesses make driving to the mall seem inconvenient and a waste of fuel. Most shoppers do not want to drive to the mall during winter time, when they can just shop in the comfort of their homes.
There are too many stores selling similar items in one shopping mall. This is bad for business because it not only stiffens the competition, but a store selling goods that seem to be of better quality, will get more customers. As a result, the less popular stores tend to shut down because no customers means no money to pay rent and keep their store running. This will put a strain on the mall in a case where the empty store is not claimed by new tenants.
Over building of these complexes have led to retail apocalypse, which is the mass shut down of retail chains. This has, further, led to many vacant spaces that cannot be filled up on time. There is also the loss of middle-class shoppers who used to shop from cheap stores that can’t compete with bigger high-end shops, but only shop from discounters and dollar stores. These small stores easily run out of business and are forced to shut down since middle-class shoppers no longer visit the mall.
The increase in suburban population, meant that malls had to be built a lot further from residential areas. These complexes were no longer accessible if a person did not own a car, hence even more malls were built to make it easier for customers to access them. This poor planning led to an overcrowding in by these centers and in turn causing business to be saturated.
Although malls have been dying throughout the years, there are planners who are still hopeful of their reinvention, but it’s safe to say that more of these complexes are likely to close in the next few years. There have been speculations that the abandoned malls could be turned into office spaces or even apartments with a walk through restaurant.