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Thread: The US seems to hate malls?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    The US seems to hate malls?

    Why does the US hate malls? When I look at cities in Canada there is lots of malls built in the 60's and 70's .

    But in the US just plazas:Look at Las Vegas lots of plazas in the 50's 60's 70's 80's and 90's!! Lots of power centers and box stores in the 90's to now.But where are the malls?

    It seems like US cities don't like to build malls and like no malls in the 60's or 70's.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    guess

    This is just a guess, but maybe it has something to do with the weather. I am not saying all the the US is located in climates warmer than Canada, but Las Vegas certainly is warmer on average.

    It has been my experience that the indoor mall development model is now being replaced with an outdoor 'lifestyle center' type development for large concentrations of retail.
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  3. #3
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    There were indeed plenty of enclosed shopping malls built in the U.S. in the 1960s through the 1980s (I would imagine it started to level off sometime around then though). I can think of about 8 or 9 within a 30 mile radius from my home in the northern suburbs of Detroit alone.

    I think that new construction of enclosed malls has slowed down along with the slowing of the population growth that began to occur as the folks in the Baby Boomer generation began to enter retirement age or stopped having children.

    There are not many new enclosed malls being built because consumer preference has changed. The types of developments built must evolve along with the times if they are going to be profitable.
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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Many malls built in the 1960s and 1970s were torn down, mostly because a newer, larger mall opened up nearby, they become functionally obsolescent, or because of demographic shifts.

    Often, a new mall will siphoning away the business of old malls that are nearby. An example close to Toronto is with the Walden Galleria in Buffalo, which opened in 1989, draining business away from the nearby Thruway Mall ("Da Troowayplaza's der", opened in 1950; now demolished) and Como Mall (opened in the 1960s, now Appletree Business Park). The Galleria also hurt Eastern Hills Mall quite hard. Eastern Hills is about 10 km from the Galleria, but it used to be the largest mall in the Buffalo region; the Galleria replaced Eastern Hills as a regional destination. Eastern Hills is still open, but despite its location in the middle of a very affluent area, it feels like it's still struggling to recover from the impact of the Galleria.

    Demographic shifts are another reason why malls close. Comedian Chris Rock has a great quote about this phenomenon: "Every town has the same two malls: the one white people go to, and the one white people used to go to.” The latter is usually the one that eventually meets the wrecking ball. The health of enclosed malls is very susceptible to perceptions of crime, whether or not such perceptions are true. We discussed the phenomenon a couple of years ago in this thread. The Mall of Memphis Web site documents the decline of one shopping mall.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I'm not sure where you developed your perception that there are no malls being built in the U.S. The company I work for makes a significant part of its income from the design work it does on malls, whether that is renovation and expansion of existing malls or new ones being developed. There have been changes in the industry. It is not growing as fast as ats peak in the 1970's and 80's, but new enclosed malls are still being built. In addition, many new malls are being built as lifestyle centers. It is a different form, but it is still a mall.
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  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    There are not many new enclosed malls being built because consumer preference has changed. The types of developments built must evolve along with the times if they are going to be profitable.
    What do you mean by consumer preference is changed? Are you say people just want to go to one store and get every thing than 5 or 10 stores in a mall?

    Most of the malls in Toronto now seem to just be clothing or stuff in the house.Well big box stores for big stuff or electronics.

    Could big box stores be cool thing people want ?So they don't go to 5 or 10 stores but one?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nec209 View post
    What do you mean by consumer preference is changed? Are you say people just want to go to one store and get every thing than 5 or 10 stores in a mall?
    What he means is consumers now a days prefer something different from the basic mall, which way the Power Center and lifestyle center has become so popular. Newer malls don't resemble the malls when i was young that include the orange julius, sears and Montgomery Wards, but rather are trending now to be open air, include pedestrian plaza's with sit down restaurants mixed in with boutique stores, etc. Sort of a downtown felling with the convenience of mall parking. Or there is the Power Center where a wal-mart, a home depot, and other big box chains are located that deliver perceived lower prices and it is just more convenient for shoppers, not to mention delivers quite the big tax revenue for municipalities. So yes, preference have changes, but a mall is still a mall.
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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    I know construction of new traditional enclosed malls is a very rare thing in the United States. No cite, but I believe just two enclosed malls were built in the US last year. I assume they were either Mills-style outlet malls, or high-end superregional centers. I doubt new 1980s-style middle-end suburban malls with the usual Sears, J.C. Pennys, and Dillards anchors, and assortment of filler stores like Hot Topic, Abercrombie and Fitch, Sunglass Hut, and Body Shop, are being built at all now.



    How about Canada? Australia? New Zealand? New enclosed malls are still all the rage in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, China and east Asia, and South Africa. From what I've seen in photos, South Africa can't get enough of new 1980s-style shopping malls.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by CPSURaf View post
    What he means is consumers now a days prefer something different from the basic mall, which way the Power Center and lifestyle center has become so popular. Newer malls don't resemble the malls when i was young that include the orange julius, sears and Montgomery Wards, but rather are trending now to be open air, include pedestrian plaza's with sit down restaurants mixed in with boutique stores, etc. Sort of a downtown felling with the convenience of mall parking. Or there is the Power Center where a wal-mart, a home depot, and other big box chains are located that deliver perceived lower prices and it is just more convenient for shoppers, not to mention delivers quite the big tax revenue for municipalities. So yes, preference have changes, but a mall is still a mall.

    Okay is it because people don't want to go to 5 or 10 stores but one? I don't think any mall at any time had things like Home Depot,Circuit City,Target,Real Canadian Superstore, Rona, Winners/Homesense,Canadian Tire so on.It would just be too hard in the mall.You would need a cart in the mall.

    Stores where specialized and now its like have 10 or 15 stores under one roof and call it wal- mart or zellers so on.Than go to mall and go to each 10 or 15 stores.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian b3nr's avatar
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    Self enclosed out of town Malls are sertainly not in fashion in the UK. The fact that I can count out of town enclosed malls off the top of my head ... Metro Centre - Newcastle, Trafford Centre - Manchester, The Mall, Bristol, Meadowhall - Sheffield, Bluewater - Kent... i'm sure i missed one or two, but you get the point, that aren't that many.

    In town centres as part of 'regeneration' in the 70's, the first were 'Arndale centres', Luton, Manchester, Leeds, many smaller ones copied the North American model. They are now either dying or had major renovations (e.g Luton). New breed of major downtown 'malls' include the very nice Bullring, Birmingham and Cabot Circus, Bristol.

    Of course 'big box' retail parks are still springing up everywhere... But similar pattern is occuring here with regard to enclosed malls not being overly popular, plus with so much retail lead regeneration in town its hard to justify them based upon the UK's 'sequential test'.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    Malls in SE Asia

    Mall building is still on-going here. Highly successful concept in the last decade or so is to have a hypermarket (eg. Tesco, Carrefour) as the anchor. These "hypermarket malls" tend to be smaller and only 1-3 stories high as compared to 4-6 stories for the traditional city center malls.
    A new concept I see popping up in the last 1-2 yrs is a covered boulevard, similar to Fremont St in Vegas but replace the casinos with retail. Here is an example:

    www.niuzexui.com

    It's still too early to say whether these would be successful.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Okay, slightly off topic here, but that picture is from one of the funniest scenes of what might very well be the most underrated comedy on TV today!

    Let's go to the mall and get back on topic!
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  13. #13
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nec209 View post
    Okay is it because people don't want to go to 5 or 10 stores but one? I don't think any mall at any time had things like Home Depot,Circuit City,Target,Real Canadian Superstore, Rona, Winners/Homesense,Canadian Tire so on.It would just be too hard in the mall.You would need a cart in the mall.

    Stores where specialized and now its like have 10 or 15 stores under one roof and call it wal- mart or zellers so on.Than go to mall and go to each 10 or 15 stores.
    Many malls, especially in smaller or more isolated areas did (and still do) indeed have the types of you listed above. I know that enclosed malls in Port Huron, MI; Oneonta, NY and other places like that have Targets as their anchor store (I think the mall in Oneonta may have been a KMart) and I know there are other enclosed shopping centers in other places in northern Michigan and Upstate New York that have Targets and other similar stores (I think the mall in Sarnia, ON used to have a Canadian Tire or Zeller's there but I cannot remember and haven't been shopping over there in many many years).

    My point is that malls in major metropolitan areas have vastly different selections of stores than those in less populated or less affluent areas.
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  14. #14
    Cyburbian
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    My point is that malls in major metropolitan areas have vastly different selections of stores than those in less populated or less affluent areas.
    What is the difference going to mall to get jaens or wal-mart? Or going to grocery store or 711 to get food or wal-mart or zellors?

    Or going to mall to look at bedding or wal-mart or zellers? Or go to the mall to get boots or wal-mart or zellers.People just seem to want to make one stop than go to 10 stores.

    At wal-mart you can pick up food,clothing,stuff in the home or TV or DVD player.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    I know construction of new traditional enclosed malls is a very rare thing in the United States. No cite, but I believe just two enclosed malls were built in the US last year. I assume they were either Mills-style outlet malls, or high-end superregional centers. I doubt new 1980s-style middle-end suburban malls with the usual Sears, J.C. Pennys, and Dillards anchors, and assortment of filler stores like Hot Topic, Abercrombie and Fitch, Sunglass Hut, and Body Shop, are being built at all now.
    That is a common impression, but it is not true. There are several mall projects under development that are a typcal enclosed mall, although now they tend to have a lifestyle appendage. Most of the old enclosed malls are pretty healthy, and redevelopment generally means tacking on, rather than eliminating the old enclosed portion. It is more difficult, now that there has been such profound consolidation in the department store segment, to anchor new or existing malls with these tenants.

    In smaller markets there is a trend to anchor centers with discount merchandisers or other atypical anchors. Target is one that is currently sought by many developers, and has agreed to some locations. A recent article discussed the influence they have over design decisions in those malls. Interestingly, Kohl's flirted with stores attached to malls in the late 1980's and early 1990's, but quickly abandoned the idea. If you look to very rural markets you will often find a Kmart anchoring one corner of the mall, with a Sears (or Sears dealer store) anchoring another. There's a winning combination.

    Boulder, Colorado, in its typical obstructionist planning style, caused its Flatiron Mall to go dark a few years back. The market promptly responded by building a new enclosed mall with lifestyle appendage ten minutes down the highway. Flatiron Mall was redeveloped as Twenty-Ninth Street. Alledgedly a mixed-use lifestyle center, the residential is on one site tucked away in a corner. As all of the potential anchors are now out of town (except Macy's, which remained) the lifestyle center is anchored by Home Depot and Wild Oats. Hardly the kind of stores that will draw people from a region. The mall has also sucked many of the chains (such as Borders and The Gap) out of the downtown area.
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  16. #16
    I think it's just an overall trend back towards the "good old days" before malls really became popular.
    Mixed use shopping areas are becoming more popular, and especially those that are mostly outside.
    For instance, look at the Plaza in KC, it hasn't really declined yet, and is considered the first shopping "mall" in the United States. However most of it is reached by walking down the streets and sidewalks. It isn't all enclosed.
    You also have a new KC project, Zona Rosa, which is like another version of the Plaza. It's a mixed use shopping area that is like a mall, only with offices, residences and shopping.

    As I stated, I think it's just an overall trend back towards traditional Downtowns and times before sprawl and malls really caught on.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    Many malls, especially in smaller or more isolated areas did (and still do) indeed have the types of you listed above. I know that enclosed malls in Port Huron, MI; Oneonta, NY and other places like that have Targets as their anchor store (I think the mall in Oneonta may have been a KMart) and I know there are other enclosed shopping centers in other places in northern Michigan and Upstate New York that have Targets and other similar stores (I think the mall in Sarnia, ON used to have a Canadian Tire or Zeller's there but I cannot remember and haven't been shopping over there in many many years).

    My point is that malls in major metropolitan areas have vastly different selections of stores than those in less populated or less affluent areas.
    Both cities I went to college in (undergrad and grad) had a Target/Wal Mart as an anchor. Rock Hill, Sc (20 miles south of Charlotte, NC) had a Wal-Mart as an anchor until about 2003, when they closed the access off, now it is a Wal-Mart next to a mall. In Mankato, MN, they still have a Target as an anchor in their mall. It actually works well for the cold Minnesota winters.

    I will agree that smaller cities tend to have more 'profitable' malls. Mankato is a regional center for most of South Central and Southwest MN, as well as Northern Iowa. It is not uncommon to see cars in the parking lot from Iowa and even South Dakota on weekends.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian
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    Interestingly, I am noticing Target and Wal-Mart both moving back into malls, at least in Southern California. With so many vacant anchor stores caused by the demise of Montgomery Ward and the merger of Macy's and Federated Department Stores, these have been significant newcomers to several malls in the past five years. Target has opened in traditional malls like Westminster Mall, Glendale Galleria, Lakewood Center, and the semi-traditional Mission Valley Mall in San Diego. Wal-Mart has opened at malls such as Parkway Plaza in El Cajon, Buena Park Mall, and the redeveloped Mall at Orange.

    These malls vary from large, busy, malls with the likes of Macy's and Nordstrom to redeveloped malls with a new focus. In any case, it seems Target and Wal-Mart are rediscovering malls in recent years.

    I say rediscovering... I recall a time in the 70s when places like Wal-Mart and K-Mart were often anchors of smaller malls, particularly in more rural areas. Wal-Mart went to stand alone stores when malls were pricey... now that deals are to be had in malls, they seem to be snapping up these sites.

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    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Another reason why I think lifestyle centers and power centers are becoming more popular is because all the stores have greater visibility this way. If you were a small retailer, why would you want to locate in an out-of-the-way hallway in a maze-like enclosed mall where it takes people 15 minutes just to find your store, when you can have a bright neon sign on an end-unit that's visibile to 50,000 vehicles passing by each day, and where customers don't have to walk 15 minutes just to find your store but can instead drive right up to it, park right in front, and walk just 20 feet?

    It's a fast-paced world we live in nowadays where advertising, visibility, and convenience is everything. People just don't have hours to spend at shopping malls all day anymore.
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  20. #20
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    Well the huge mega mall is sure not dead in my neck of the woods, I went to ours Sat night for shopping and a movie, the place was PACKED. On a wet chilly evening it was just the thing to do.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tysons_Corner_Center Has the basic stats though its a bit dated in that the Metro line is all but dead in the water.

    Yet I have lived places like Greensboro NC where the indoor mall is loosing ground t a rapid rate to the outdoor lifestyle centers like Friendly Center.
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