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Do People Still Go to the Mall?

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David and I had to go to the mall this past weekend.  He has been in desperate need of new glasses, and Lenscrafters was having a sale, and of course the only Lenscrafters in a 50-mile radius is in our local shopping mall.  Fashion Square is, by modern mall standards, a dinosaur.  It’s ugly and dark, not light and airy – very ’80s kind of mall.  Oh, there are a few modern stores there, don’t get me wrong – in fact, a Sephora has popped up since the last time I was in that mall – but it’s just designed all on one level, in a straight line from anchor store (Sears) to anchor store (JC Penney) with another anchor (Belk) in the middle, and no windows or skylights or open air or anything.

While we were there, it just felt…surreal.  I haven’t been in any mall at all in quite some time, and it had probably been at least a couple of years since I walked inside of that particular mall.  As we walked along, biding our time waiting for his glasses to be finished, it struck me as odd that people go to the mall anymore.  Plenty of people apparently do – we were weaving through crowds the whole time we were there, but I kept looking at them wondering if this was normal for them, or if they were there on a specific mission like we were.  I have to say, a lot of them looked like they were on a family outing instead of having a real purpose.  I mean, when I was a teenager, we went to the mall just to have something to do, to hang out.  But do people do that anymore?  And if so…WHY?  Especially here – there’s nothing appealing about this mall unless you’re going there for a very specific reason.  Am I wrong?  Am I weird because I have not found “the mall” as a concept appealing in years?  Do people still go to the mall, or is it passe these days?


6 thoughts on “Do People Still Go to the Mall?

  1. I love that Sears is the sponsor directly below this post! I still enjoy going to the mall, but 1) I almost never actually do it and 2) the malls in Richmond are open-air. 🙂

  2. I certainly hope people still come to malls as I work in one! Granted, MacArthur Center in Norfolk is a bit different from the one you described (lots of skylights and an open air feel), but there are plenty of people shopping here today.
    There have been quite a bit of store closings in the recent months though. No more Godiva, no more Lindt (that means no more orange truffles for you 😦 ), no more Sephora, and we lost the Bear Factory and another childrens’ store last week!
    So yeah, I think people still go to the mall for the convenience of all the stores being in one place, but better business models (the internet) and the economy have definitely taken their toll.

  3. In Charlottesville, we also have the Downtown Mall, which is easy to forget is a mall because it’s all outdoors, just a brick path where dogs can run and with drive-thru streets for cars. It’s also mostly full of mom n’ pop stores and restaurants instead of the traditional mall stuff like The Gap or Sears or whatever. But, there are 3 movie theaters, multiple music venues (including a Pavilion which serves as the anchor at one end), and restaurants hosting everything from good sushi to Himalayan food to 5 Guys. Some office businesses, even some residences, oh and hobos… it’s a pretty unique mall. For that, it’s always packed. Fashion Square’s never been able to hold a candle, at least in this town.

    1. Don’t forget the buskers! Seriously, true, and I do like to go downtown. But Fashion Square was ALSO packed last weekend, and the question remains…WHY?

  4. Malls depress me. Will and I go to eat in the food court once or twice a year when we want to “slum it” or remember our high school days. We were both mall rats. When the weather is crappy, Will will take Jobot to Regency Square to Chesterfield Town(e) Center for walks. He’s a member of the Godiva chocolate club, so he always brings me a piece of free chocolate when he picks me up from work. Maybe Fashion Square was packed because it’s hot as hell and the malls are climate controlled. Except for the outdoor malls of course.

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