Sunday, September 8, 2019

Scenes from the Mall

The other day I had a couple of hours to kill while My Guy was at a lengthy medical appointment. Fortunately, we were about a half mile from a sizeable mall, one I never think to go to even though 20 minutes on the highway would easily get me there.

          We do have a mall near our house, but it’s been circling the drain for some time now, gradually being stripped of the Pennys, Macys, and finally, Sears. I genuinely can’t remember the last time I was there, now that it’s pretty much empty stores or baseball cap and sneaker stores.

          Last week’s mall still looks to be viable in spite of the sealed doors where Sears used to be. Pennys is at one end, Macys the other, with a Target in between. However at 11:30 in the morning I would have expected more than the one or two fellow shoppers I passed in the cavernous hall.

 I began at Macys in the hope of a battery for my watch. No problem, although they’d have to send it out – another death in the retail world where a simple battery replacement is too much for the young man behind the counter. Good thing I asked how much – it would be $50. Since the watch probably set me back about $19.95, I declined.

          On my way into Macys, I walked past not one, or two, but four massive counters devoted to nothing but cosmetics or perfumes. All were empty of customers except one 50ish woman perched on a chair about to be transformed, I guess, by the attendant wielding the makeup sponge. I can’t imagine sitting in the aisle of a department store while having expensive cosmetics spackled on as others go by.

          To his credit, the Macys jewelry clerk had suggested a small jewelry shop farther into the mall and I found it easily. Behind the counter was a man of wispy hair and crushed demeanor, and based on his age and the empty store I decided he was the owner, soldiering on in another imploding mall. I was to return in 15 minutes.

          Target was filled with shoppers, an indication of the merchandising changes as consumers shift down from the pricier department stores. There I found a Christmas gift to sock away for the twin granddaughters, along with an armload of tiny stuffed animals that will make great stocking stuffers.  

          The jewelry shop gentleman had had such an Eeyore quality to him I was happy to see his business brimming with people when I returned -  a woman to whom he was showing rings, and a group of twenty-somethings strolled in behind me.

          I paid for my watch and left, on my way out bemused by a sizeable booth offering “Edible Cookie Dough.” Clearly, I need to get out more.  


  1. The American mall is definitely in decline. Ours lost its Sears and other big stores, but still has a Macy's and Target. It's not as poorly attended as the one you describe, though. Your description pretty much took me there in spirit. :-)

  2. edible cookie dough? indoor malls have been replaced by outdoor shopping meccas. so, you know, you can sweat buckets while moving from one store to the next. at least down here. or you can get in your car and drive the 20 or 30 or 50 feet. you scoff? this is America where what we once called obese is now considered normal.

    1. Yes, as much as I've grown to dislike the malls at times, I still am amazed that everyone is opting for what are basically strip malls, where you brave the elements to get from one store to another. (Here, it's often through cold and snow.)
      And you're right - it's now like musical chairs, only with cars.

  3. Malls? We still have them, and I avoid them where ever possible. Particularly at times when they are crowded (like school holidays).

  4. We have totally empty malls, shuttered and boarded. One is a homeless shelter.
    For the record, before there were malls, we had the newest phenomena, strip malls. Convenient, easy shopping. That was post war, into the fifties. Then, malls replaced strip malls. What goes around comes around.

  5. I remember the beginning of the decline in malls a few years ago. The Internet may be the big competitor. I am finding I have to look for clothes online more and more and thus far have not had to send anything back. But I do like being able to try something on!

  6. "Edible" cookie dough? I should hope so. Nobody would buy INedible cookie dough (*~*)
    It's so sad when stores close down because customers have gone elsewhere or for whatever other reason. It's like the old corner stores that used to be all over suburbs in the past, happy friendly places that lost business when the new "supermarkets" came along.

  7. The closest mall to us is about 40 minutes away. It lost its Sears (of course) and Zellers (which was another department store) and the remaining stores have been closing up over the last few years. It is a depressing experience walking around there now. -Jenn

  8. I can't think of too many actual malls hereabouts. The closest is about a half hour away, is big, and seems to be thriving. But neither Sue nor I are mall people.


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