Do you go to shopping malls anymore?

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Posted by NTM (11902 posts) 1 month, 22 days ago

Poll: Do you go to shopping malls anymore? (188 votes)

Yep, a lot! 11%
Yes, though rarely nowadays. 55%
Nope, I don't go to them anymore. 30%
Never been to one to be honest. 3%
Other. 2%

I used to go to the mall every week or so. I rarely went to the mall because of friends (it has happened, but not too often), it's just that I used to live closer to malls and it was always on the way to other places we had to be. I loved going there to get coffee then go into whatever game store was there. Now, I rarely go to malls. There's just no reason to as places that have items that the mall had are either closer to me or is online. I do find it kind of sad though the malls are seemingly dying. I really enjoyed going to the mall. The last time I went with any kind of frequency was 2012 because my brother had to go to the hospital monthly and one was nearby. I'm not sure about you, but I rarely ever go to game stores either, like GameStop. The last time I bought anything from there was in 2016 for Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin, Bloodborne, and Dark Souls 3. The mall I went to most, which is also one of the oldest malls in the U.S. looks to be changing quite a bit.

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#1 Posted by Nodima (2654 posts) -

I rarely went to begin with, I had Gamestops and independent game stores just as close as malls with larger inventories, and my parents would always rather shop at a Kohls or Gordmans or Shopko than whatever hip trendy spot was at the mall; to be frank, I mostly didn't care what clothes I wore either (which is funny, since I much care now; something about spending my own money vs. allocating my parents' away from video games and toys towards, ugh, clothes). But the mall does have it's rare use for me now as an adult; I work in fine dining, and when I need cheap replacements for shoes or shirts or pants, the DSW and H&M stores have me covered at fairly reasonable prices, and especially since I'm on the bartending end I need nice looking things I'm not afraid to get dirty immediately.

That said, I still go to the mall way less frequently than I used to, because the two malls nearest me used to have two really cool arcades I'd beg to go to a few times a month, and now they're just a means to an end in a pinch for me.

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#2 Posted by Shiftygism (1126 posts) -

One of the unfortunate side effects of the internet taking over our society. I loved being dropped off at our local mall after school on Fridays back in the late 90's and just walking around killing an hour before a movie started in the arcade, Waldenbooks, KayBee, and Spencer Gifts. How many theaters are still in malls? I might actually still go to mine if there was one in it. Going there with my mom and grandmother during the holidays when I was younger, I can still remember the smells. I also have bad memories associated of tagging along with my best friend watching him buy hundreds of dollars of cds which led to credit card debt and an eventual breakdown, which kinda affected my spending habits afterwards, even to this day....but yeah, it was once a major and sometimes magical location of my youth....not so much anymore. I don't think I've been there more than a couple times in the last decade. Shit bums me out. Kids just don't know what they missed out on.

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#3 Posted by Barrock (4167 posts) -

@shiftygism: Could spend hours in the FYE just looking through CDs and DVDs. The food court Teriyaki was a treat, even though I now know it was terrible.

I still go to our mall because the AMC is semi attached to it, though you have to go outside to get from one to the other. But the thing about malls is I know I can get literally anything there online for cheaper.

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#4 Posted by Brackstone (958 posts) -

Pretty much only for boxing day, and only to get cheap books/movies from the relevant stores. The one in my town still does pretty well, I think, but it feels like it's twice as big as it needs to be.

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#5 Posted by liquiddragon (3553 posts) -

Very rarely but I'm a very nostalgic person and sometimes I'll go because the smell of a mall reminds of a bygone era. Also, the closest Best Buy is attached to a mall so there is that.

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#6 Posted by Shindig (4984 posts) -

Yeah, I like to see if I can sneak something cheap.

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#7 Posted by isomeri (3127 posts) -

I go to a mall when I need to buy shoes. Everything else I get from the stores in my neighborhood or online.

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#8 Edited by nutter (2394 posts) -

They were great in the 80s and early 90s. Whether I was a small child going with my family or driving my own car there at 16 or 17, there was something cool about all that stuff in one place.

I think the expansion of Best Buy really killed them for me and online shopping mulched up their corpses and laid them out around my garden.

These days, I avoid them like the plague. I sometimes need to grab some sports gear, sneakers, or an article of clothing or two and hit a store at the mall, but it’s VERY rare.

EDIT: Or maybe Hot Topic and absurdly baggy jeans killed the mall for me...I think that movement may have been my first “you know, fuck this place” moment, as a kid...

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#9 Posted by nutter (2394 posts) -

@nodima:

Kohls: The most boring place on earth

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#10 Posted by Bane (927 posts) -

I voted nope, but a comment reminded me that the movie theater I go to is in a mall. That's the only reason I go there and it's rare that I do.

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#11 Edited by notnert427 (2294 posts) -

I still go there to shop for clothes, but that's about it. I do miss the idea of kids just walking around the mall and hanging out. We had some good times as teenagers doing that. It was a fun thing that's going to be lost to time. The mall is honestly a little depressing now because you can go witness the death of retail. Every place that isn't the Apple Store (which is a whole different hell) is filled with incredibly bored employees milling around. You can get some great deals, though, as retailers will pretty much give stuff away to move their stock.

I did take the better part of a day at the mall to pick out some inexpensive sunglasses not too long ago. That endeavor was way more difficult than I expected, as men's sunglasses have basically funneled down into two categories of reflective lens aviators that make you look like a cop or the "European playboy" look, both of which I find to be more douchey than I wanted. I finally found a pair I liked at JCPenney of all places on a random kiosk, with Dockers brand sunglasses coming through for me with a more classic, understated look that suits me.

So, yeah. The traditional shopping mall can still serve a purpose, but I give the entire concept a decade at best. Things will continue to transition more towards online sales, obviously, and the only brick-and-mortar stuff that's going to make it will be either higher-end shopping centers that have bars and whatnot or outlet malls where people can buy fancy brands at a discount. Regular malls are occupying this middle ground that's presently being decimated by Amazon. RIP mall.

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#12 Edited by Justin258 (15693 posts) -

No.

I despised malls as a kid. My parents would drag me to the mall at least a few times a month and shop, and by shop I mean stand and stare and wish they could afford everything they wanted while all I wanted was to go home and enjoy what should have been my free time. Ugh.

These days, the malls nearest me do have a purpose in that the nicer clothes stores are there, along with a smattering of other shops and such. But when I was growing up, malls were packed with people and noise. Last time I was at the mall, there were only some people there, not tons, and they all seemed to be there to buy a few things and leave rather than shop around.

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#13 Posted by Jovanny23 (103 posts) -

I go about every couple of months or so I'll buy some pretzel bits and maybe a pack of Pokemon cards. I play pogo and I'm getting into wizards Unite(falling off this one, game is kinda meh) and living in az the summer heats means you can only play in your car, malls or at night.

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#14 Edited by deactivated-5d5f33a6b34f9 (210 posts) -

Well I work at a mall so I visit one daily. I rarely ever shop though, just clothes when I desperately need new ones.

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#15 Posted by geirr (3811 posts) -

There are some products I still need to touch, and smell, before purchase.
Like lotions and various oils and such.

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#16 Posted by zombiepenguin9 (782 posts) -

I used to work in the local mall for a few years during my late teens/early twenties, but I never really went to the mall to hang out with friends or anything like that. Growing up, the mall was someplace our family would go to do Christmas shopping or something like that. It was maybe a once or twice a year thing, and I guess felt a little more special because of that.

Now, as an adult, I live within 30 minutes of several malls. I still go for the occasional purchase where I need to see something in person, or for the attached movie theaters. It's maybe a once a month thing now.

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#17 Posted by WickedCobra03 (2314 posts) -

Yes, malls are still alright in my book. I would rather go to a "classic" mall rather than a strip mall. Like if I want a few different choices on a button down shirt, if I don't like one type of department store, there is another on the other end of a building, or a few other clothing stores. Not really a fan of shopping online, or at least as much as the "kids" today. I find it kind of wasteful rather than hopping on your bike and going to the mall, or putting money in the local economy.

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#18 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7685 posts) -

The American shopping Mall started in the late 50s, and if you were born before 1970s you likely went/walked-in to one of the first few hundred malls that existed. My hometown mall was built in 1963 and was/is the oldest enclosed mall in Massachusetts: Westgate Mall (Brockton, MA).

So, I nearly saw the geniss of mall, but I missed it. But, I did see malls die. Oh, they won't all be gone even 50 years from now, but after 2001 malls were already dead. Just as the shopping arcade which predated the mall existed for over 100 years ago (see: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II); there will be a few surviving malls in fifty years. But, they will be in name only, they won't really be malls, they will be histial articts like the fields of Gettysburg, PA.

With that said, I went to an upscale mall in Boston at least once a week until 2000. A little shopping, a little socializing, and a little passing the time between college classes. Up until 2005, I STILL did most of my Christmas shopping at a mall. After 2011 I don't think I have bought even one Christmas or Birthday gift in a mall.

BTW: If you are under 20 years old, I would not talk about malls. That woudl be like me going to Gettysburg, PA and pretending I know what happened Jul 1, 1863 – Jul 3, 1863. If you are 20 or under you don't know what a mall was, what happened there, or why they existed except as an intellectual exercise. You missed it...you were born too late. This is not gatekeeping, this is just a fact. Just as I don't know the moon landing, I was 24 days old for Apollo 11, I missed it. I don't know Woodstock (Bethel, White Lake, NY) I was only shy of 2 months old, I missed it. If you never saw the Grateful Dead before July 9, 1995, you never saw the Grateful Dead - period. So, If you are under 20 years old...well...you missed malls.

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#19 Posted by billmcneal (1276 posts) -

Not very much now, but one of the movie theaters we have is in a mall and I do go there

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#20 Posted by someoneproud (668 posts) -

Can't imagine why I would tbh, then again I'm not interested in shopping as an activity/day out. I'm more than happy to order most everything I want/need online and get the day to day stuff from a local store.

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#21 Posted by FacelessVixen (2702 posts) -

I need to physically go to a retail store for shoes. Sometimes I like to walk though the electronics section at Target and not buy anything. And, despite my better sense of judgement, GameStop sometimes has a few things that I'd want. Other than that, Amazon, Newegg, and IndieMerchStore are my online vendors of choice.

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#22 Edited by tacobelmont (17 posts) -

The mall closest to my home is also a big meetup spot for Pokemon Go, is a good place for me to try on and buy clothes, and has a bubble tea shop. The Gamestop and FYE are just glorified Funko stores now, so I don't go to those old haunts, but bubble tea and quality time with friends and loved ones is always good.

I live about 90 minutes from Cincinnati as well, and there's a dead mall there with one of the finest arcades I've ever been to, Arcade Legacy, so I visit there often.

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#23 Edited by TheFlamingo352 (387 posts) -

I live behind a mall. So yes.

I've heard from an engineer friend that there are moves to demolish the place and build new stuff there, but I'm not too attached: I only go there because it's in walking distance.

Edit: also to echo other people, it's a good place to play Pokemon Go.

Online
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#24 Posted by FinalDasa (3241 posts) -

Yes.

A lot of the stores in most of the malls near me routinely have pretty good sales or clearance racks. So it isn't too hard to occasionally visit, especially right before a season change when they are trying to get rid of last season's clothes, and find some new shorts or a few shirts for less than the original price of one.

Occasionally a mall or two also either has a restaurant I really like somewhat nearby or a unique shop that makes the typical visit at least less ordinary.

Also any mall with a bookstore has already won me most of the way over.

I should add I live in Florida so anything indoors with air conditioning is a top tier experience during the summer.

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#25 Posted by spartica (136 posts) -

If mini malls count then yes, I go for good deals on shoes and clothes.

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#26 Posted by ltcolumbo (193 posts) -

@monkeyking1969: I work for the administration of a city that has had a mall on life support since the early 2000s. It never ceases to amaze me how many angry calls and letters we get about when we are going to “do something” to bring life back into the mall. I’m almost to the point where I am going to start telling people we’ve got a crack team of quantum physicists working on that time machine so you can take a trip back to 1991 when people still wanted to shop in a giant mall.

The real problem is that we did actually spend millions a of dollars to redo a badly designed traffic area near the mall, and turned it from nearly unnavigable to a prime spot for locals and commuters, and all it did was invite one of the many degenerate mall-locust ownership groups who buy old malls with some small amount of life still in them, squeeze every penny out of it in the most destructive way possible, and leave town with that area in shambles.

Now we’re working with the people who have been turning old malls in Amazon distribution centers. No shopping but it could mean a lot of jobs, both in the center itself and in the surprising still-going restaurants on the periphery of the mall.

Long story short - fuck malls. They are nothing but problems.

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#27 Posted by ShaggE (9311 posts) -

Very rarely, but damn, do I miss their heyday.

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#28 Posted by DrM2theJ (259 posts) -

I voted "Nope" because literally the only reason I would go to the mall these days is because that's where UNIQLO is, and now that I know my sizes from them I mostly order directly online.

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#29 Edited by SuperKMx (27 posts) -

I used to buy from one of the three game stores in the local mall, one of the two indie stores nearby, one of the two big chain music stores, or one of the three game stores that were in the next town over. Out of all of those places, only a single game store is still in business, and it essentially contains Funkos, t-shirts, and anything that has the words "FORTNITE" or "MINECRAFT" emblazoned on it. God help you if you want to buy a newly-released video game.

I shopped at these places WAY after it wasn't a financially great idea to do so. I was happy to pay a small premium, as there was a camaraderie in visiting your local indie store as you'd always, ALWAYS bump into a friend or one of the regular customers who would eventually become friends. The 2nd-hand and retro sections would be a treasure trove of delights that would keep you coming back, too.

But that's all gone. That one store that remains in my area wants to blast you with dubstep at ear-shattering volumes, take your money, hand you your Funko, and get you the hell out of there. Their "retro" section is pretty much exclusively various copies of FIFA and Madden for the Xbox 360 and PS3.

Amazon and digital purchases mean that there's just no need to even try to put up with it and if I want retro, eBay and all manner of other sites are a browser tab away.

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#30 Posted by Cybexx (1640 posts) -

I live really close to the biggest mall in my Province so I do go there for groceries, sometimes their robust food court, the movie theater. There is some really specific stuff that I'll go into grab from Best Buy, Apple Store or Microsoft Store.

But I would say 85% of the stuff I buy these days is probably from an online retailer that I get delivered to work to avoid needing to track down a failed delivery.

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#31 Edited by fledeye (264 posts) -

I’m not really sure what an American mall is as I’m not American. The only proper mall I’ve been to is the one leading to Buckingham Palace, but I don’t think you’re after pall-mall fields that have been turned into roads.

We did have a shopping centre near me that changed its name to The Mall, but changed it back to its original name a year later. Nobody ever called it the Mall anyway. We all just carried on calling it Marlands shopping centre. And I haven’t been in there for a few years now, it smells funny and all the decent shops moved into the bigger shopping centre that opened a few 100 yards down the road.

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#32 Edited by TastyTreats (1 posts) -

@ntm: I'm anticipating Final Fantasy VII Remake, which will be my first game on the Playstation. Then I'll go to the mall.

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#33 Edited by MonkeyKing1969 (7685 posts) -

@monkeyking1969: I work for the administration of a city that has had a mall on life support since the early 2000s. It never ceases to amaze me how many angry calls and letters we get about when we are going to “do something” to bring life back into the mall. I’m almost to the point where I am going to start telling people we’ve got a crack team of quantum physicists working on that time machine so you can take a trip back to 1991 when people still wanted to shop in a giant mall.

The real problem is that we did actually spend millions a of dollars to redo a badly designed traffic area near the mall, and turned it from nearly unnavigable to a prime spot for locals and commuters, and all it did was invite one of the many degenerate mall-locust ownership groups who buy old malls with some small amount of life still in them, squeeze every penny out of it in the most destructive way possible, and leave town with that area in shambles.

Now we’re working with the people who have been turning old malls in Amazon distribution centers. No shopping but it could mean a lot of jobs, both in the center itself and in the surprising still-going restaurants on the periphery of the mall.

Long story short - fuck malls. They are nothing but problems.

Yeah, I think the best thing for many communities would be a reuse plan. As you said, your community spent money to fix traffic and movement in and around it, so without a plan that monye has been wasted.

I think the biggest problem in the US is that we have no really desire for urban design. American find building malls, divided highways shopping and miles of suburban housing palatable because it short terms and high profit. What we don't find palatale is forcing many landowners to work within "a single design plan" that might not maximize their own profit, but will actually result in a sustainable century long use of land.

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#34 Edited by Majkiboy (1081 posts) -

Well, let me lend you a different perspective from across the seas. We have plenty of malls in Sweden and all of them are regularly visited. None of them are really in any danger. I think it might be due to the way they have been planned out and thought out from the start (many of them were built in the 2000s). I rarely hear anyone complaining about them. They are rarely enormously big ones in the outskirts. They are often located somewhat in a urban center so it automatically becomes the place to go to for shopping. What is a bit less visited are those big shopping districts way in the outskirts. But those have their niche with more furniture stores, IKEAs and whatnots. Last time I went to a mall though was actually playing Pokemon GO last year when they had a bunch of sponsored events. The sponsored malls got so packed! Nevertheless, online shopping has indeed put a dent in the margins of malls, but I don't think they are in any danger here... yet

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#35 Posted by psmgamer (128 posts) -

I used to go to mall a ton as a kid to buy clothing growing up. Lately not that much unless my nephew wants shoes then I'll end up going to the mall but that's mostly like once a year.

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#36 Edited by Tom_omb (1087 posts) -

I never really shop online. I don't buy much at all, honestly.

I live close to the mall and grab milk or vegetables from stores there. I also cut through to get to the train. But, I do think it's a shadow of it's old self. Before it shut down I'd rather buy my clothes at Sears than the millions of tiny clothing boutiques that fill the mall today. There are fewer cool little stores I enjoyed as a kid, like Spencer's Gifts, the poster store, HMV , or craft store. Worst of all they got rid of the movie theatre and just put a more expensive food court up there.

I'm a bigger defender of our other mall in my town because it still has Toys R Us and Best Buy... although I never shop at either of those places much these days. Plus they are tearing it down in 2025 to make more condos.

One thing I can say about the boutique stores is that we are living in a golden age of graphic tees.

Although there's still Metrotown, a mall in a different Vancouver suburb that's running at full power. Movie theatre, Toys R Us, record store, big book store.

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#37 Posted by ghost_cat (2315 posts) -

Unless it's with friends for something particular: no. I don't like taking everything I own to a tailor every time I buy something, so I typically seek out Japanese designer clothing since they are usually made for my body width and height, and malls never carry that stuff.

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#39 Edited by pollard5 (3 posts) -

Yeah, I do go but rarely. If I find time for myself I would rather go and shop all the necessary ones at one place.