Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Daily Mall Reader: Shopping Malls Grow With Suburbs

A daily dose of mall-related reading...

"Flight To The Suburbs"
Business Must Follow The Dollar

TIME Magazine - Monday, Mar. 22, 1954

(Excerpt) The enormous growth of the U.S. population has meant vast new markets in everything from baby carriages to washing machines and wrist watches. Will every retailer cash in on the bonanza? Not at all. The reason is that since 1940, almost half of the 28 million national population increase has taken place in residential suburban areas, anywhere from ten to 40 miles away from traditional big-city shopping centers. Thus, to win the new customers' dollars, merchants will have to follow the flight to the suburbs.

In the ten years from 1940 to 1950, St. Louis' suburbs grew 48% while the city itself added only 6% to its population. In the same period, Philadelphia's suburbs expanded twice as fast, Boston's eight times as fast, as their already-crowded metropolitan districts. The numbers tell only part of the story. Suburbia offers not only more new customers but better customers.

Read the full article here.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Didi said...

I am guessing that it is probably the opposite now with trendy new downtowns redefining themselves as these once trendy suburbs become older, dead and riddled with crime.

Fri Aug 24, 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Cora Buhlert said...

I'll never get why it's not possible to have both, lively downtowns and suburban malls. After all, there is no inherent contradiction.

Fri Aug 24, 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger Didi said...

You know, I never thought of it that way. Now that you mention it I wonder as well. I think of it as this. Suburban plazas and malls were trendy back in the day mainly because it was something fresh and new and the people who had the income to keep these places affloat fled to these areas. Now lots of suburbs are experiencing the decline that the downtowns did back in the day due to most of these plazas and malls aging and most of the folks either moving more outerward or going back to city life because the city is "trendy" again with "new" buildings, shops and restuarants. It is like a cycle. People flock to what is trendy at the moment and when it isn't so cool anymore they flock back to something they think is fresh and new when it is actually a repackaged same old same old.

Sat Aug 25, 11:19:00 AM  

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