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message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13740 comments With increase of ecommerce or unrelated to it some (many?) malls seem to lose anchor tenants and eventually close doors:

Can these almost cult edifices disappear from the face of the earth in some foreseeable future? What do you think?

message 2: by Jason (new)

Jason Makansi | 6 comments In 1997, I was Editor in Chief of one of the most successful and longest lived publications of all time, a trade journal (Power magazine, McGraw Hill, 115 years old at the time). On the assumption that digital would take over print in five years, we created on-line content and cut back the monthly publication to six issues a year.

We got that wrong. The death of print is premature to this day. It has changed form and adapted. That magazine, incidentally, went back to 12x a year.

In this is a lesson about malls. They may be dying but I would note at the same time, farmer's markets and local "fairs" are growing. While e-commerce may force closure of malls, malls were overbuilt at precisely the wrong time, so it's as much of an oversupply situation as death by digital.

And the distance created by e-commerce between customer and vendor, I would also argue, fuels the rise in local and community "mall-like" experiences to regain some of that commercial intimacy.

message 3: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9718 comments My guess is the death of local retail is somewhat overstated. It will adapt, although there may be some casualties along the way. The biggest single shift could be things like the 3D printer. The likes of Amazon will not prevail over a place where you can go there and print what you like. Similarly, with clothes. If you can go somewhere and with computer assistance design what you want and it gets made in a day or so, that will always beat on-line shopping, where what you get is of mixed value for fit, or for that matter, colour. Like it or not, if i buy shoes, i want to try them on first, because there is nothing worse than ill-fitting shoes.

Having said that, I rather suspect a number of malls will be in trouble, partly because there are too many of them, and partly because they charge too great a rental for what they deliver.

message 4: by Jason (new)

Jason Makansi | 6 comments Good observations.

message 5: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2151 comments I just find the disaster that is Sears Holdings completely funny. One would think if there was one brick-and-morter retailer that could have successfully transitioned to e-commerce, it would have been the retailer which built their business on mail order. e-tailing should have been a natural transition for them, but instead it's a company that should have died years ago if it weren't for the loans propping them up. But then again, this is a company where the customers have been telling them for years their biggest problem is that the stores are dirty and outdated, in a bad need for a makeover, but their entire strategy has been to ignore that and keep going, business-as-usual, thinking the customers are going to magically return as if it's a normal cycle. Instead of using some of that borrows money to update some of their stores, the entire strategy has been to cut costs, close stores, and sell off assets - because that's always saved trouble companies in the past...

message 6: by Holly (new)

Holly (goldikova) Personally I never liked the mall experience. The food courts were usually unacceptable and the climate control was so dehydrating. I still prefer a vibrant downtown commercial district whether it be in a small town or a neighborhood in a large city.

That being said, I have also had good experiences buying clothing online. It is very difficult to find clothing in our local retail stores that fits and is age appropriate. So, instead of spending literally hours driving to stores and looking at clothing (tedious!!!) I can go online, do a quick search and find exactly what I am looking for.

message 7: by Jason (new)

Jason Makansi | 6 comments I usually call ahead to make sure the store has what I want to buy. I never minded the mall experience - it's a good social outlet - but I'm not crazy about wasting time shopping either, whether it's on-line, in mall, or otherwise.

As for the comment about Sears Holdings, once a company is owned primarily for its financial engineering benefits, the public never really knows what's going on in the accounting and optimizing of the portfolio.

The "mall" has certainly reached its peak in the life cycle of a concept or idea but extinction takes a long, long time.

message 8: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13740 comments Will e-malls kill the malls at the end? What do you think?

message 9: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9718 comments In my region, the local mall seems to be doing well, and they are even rebuilding the cinema complex (it was demolished after the earthquake, not because it had a problem but because the exit to the car park below it was declared unsafe). There is another mall about 40 k away not doing so well. It seems to depend on the quality of the shops. On a personal level, I do not buy clothes online - I like to test them for fit - and if I go shopping I want to be able to buy as much as I can in the same general area. I may be odd, but I think others also like to test/see what they buy. The problem with online shopping here is if you want to return it, you have to go to a post office, and that is worse than going to a mall

message 10: by Marie (new)

Marie Our region is the same way here. We still have a huge mall where I live and it is always packed with cars. It is actually one of the few malls left that is still actively functioning. I too do not like to buy clothes online as I like to be able to try on what I buy to make sure it fits properly. Clothes and shoes are the only things I will not buy online. It is too much of a headache to buy something online and then have to send it back through the mail. So to keep life easy I just avoid doing things that way.

message 11: by J. (new)

J. Gowin | 3089 comments I find that on-line retail works best when I know exactly what I want, and I don't need it right now. Conversely, stores work best when I'm unsure and/or in a hurry. The stores that get my business are the ones that understand this, and respond with good customer service.

message 12: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2151 comments Clothing sucks. Used to be when you selected a size, you knew exactly how it was going to fit. Now with millenials liking clothes that aren't sized right, and manufacturers making other clothes bigger than the label says so that their plus-sized customers don't feel so plus-sized when buying, you have no idea if the size you buy is going to be two sizes smaller or two sizes bigger...

message 13: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9718 comments I also have problems with shoes. Only too many of those suitable for length has insufficient broadness. Shoes have to fit properly, and I could not purchase these by mail.

message 14: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5516 comments Once you find a good shoe, though, you can then order it online, which I do. Whether it's clothes or shoes, once I find something I like, I buy several.

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