The Daily Mall Reader: Fall Of The Mall
A daily dose of mall-related reading...
"The fall of the mall: We are still shopping, but the citadels of retail are fast becoming irrelevant"
The National Post - June 15, 2004
(Excerpt) My first and last visit to the gigantic West Edmonton Mall, around 1990, compressed into two hours the feelings that people have been reporting since the original enclosed shopping mall opened in a Minneapolis suburb in 1956. First there was fascination, then a certain amusement (how often do you see an indoor swimming pool with a sandy beach and a wave machine?) and finally ennui. It was a fast-forward history of suburban retailing; West Edmonton, which is just like a mall only more so, demanded attention, then quickly deadened it.
It now seems possible that West Edmonton Mall and lesser citadels are on their way to becoming historical artifacts. No one could have predicted this three decades ago, when surveys said that Americans spent more time at the mall than anywhere else except home and work, and The Economist praised the controlled environment of malls as a "potent device for generating sales."
Today we are apparently living through the twilight of the malls. They remain essential in many places, and some still prosper, but they long ago lost the charm of novelty, and social change has eroded their economic base.
Read the full article here.