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Thread: Things you always find in struggling shopping malls

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Things you always find in struggling shopping malls

    AIB the other "Things you always find ..." threads. I'm thinking about malls with pretty good occupancy, but which have seen better days; not necessarily malls on the verge of closing their doors, but those where you have doubt about their future. A few to start off this thread:
    • Head shops, or hippie-themed boutiques if they're not selling actual drug paraphenalia.
    • Independent dollar stores.
    • Business signs consisting of basic cutout letters with no illumination, box signs, or worse ... painted plywood signs.
    • Locally-owned niche "Scotch Tape stores": La Tienda Quincenaria, hearing aid stores, ethnic art stores, religious book stores, and so on.
    • Anchor stores that, despite several changes of ownership, haven't been remodeled since the 1970s. You'd expect to hear paging bells in them, they look so old.
    • Junior anchors that have been converted to a non-mall-type use; e.g. batting cages, indoor mini-amusement park, auto sales, kountry krafty konsignment booth sales.
    • The Finish Line. They're loyal to the end; often the last tenant to depart a dead mall.
    • A really, really good old-school Sears. 1960s and 1970s-era Sears mall stores are much larger than those that opened in malls in later years, save for the superregionals. They'll still be out of your size of whatever article of clothing you're looking for, but the tool and appliance departments will be unsurpassed. Odds are good the store will still contain some "Sears Roebuck and Co." signage.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Food courts without any national chains. A symbol of authenticity for some people - at least in a different, more urban environment - is a bad sign in a 30-year old mall.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    A teen clothing store that sells either very inexpensively made clothes or a few different lower end brands.

    Tux rental shop

    Shoe repair shop

    The space that always becomes the halloween then christmas shop late in the year
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    military recruiting stations (in stores)
    low-end jewelers
    dollar stores
    arts and crafts-type stores
    stationary stores/card stores
    independently-owned sports memorabilia stores
    convenience stores/newstands (with tobacco products)

  5. #5
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Record Shops
    Tattoo Parlors
    Kiosk-style pretzel vendors (as oposed to storefront)
    Furniture Stores
    a yet to be filled Steve and Barry's
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  6. #6
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    charismatic churches (hell, any church - I guess this is more of a mall death knell indicator)
    armed forces recruiting stations
    consignment clothing shops
    when there's more than one t-shirt shop
    high degrees of redundancy/duplication (multiple not just clothing stores but, say low-end clothing stores, or shoes or whatever)

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    -Pager Stores
    -Check cashing venues
    -Egyptian art and furniture stores
    -Christmas-every-day stores

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Flying Monkeys's avatar
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    Skateboard shops
    Really cheap jewelry booths
    Cell phone stores
    Dirty pet stores

    and....

    Homeless people and teen hoodlums
    What’s in a name? – Your reputation….:)

  9. #9
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Most every type of non-retail:
    School classrooms
    Karate classes
    Education services (admin. offices, continuing ed)
    Real estate
    Government services (drivers licensing, city hall annex)
    Library services

  10. #10
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Umm.....

    How about vacant spaces.....bunch of these in crappy old malls.
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    Cyburbian Dave F's avatar
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    Cosmetic treatments meant to hide or downplay the vacant retail spaces, without any indication of what the next store in each space will be.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    The Finish Line. They're loyal to the end; often the last tenant to depart a dead mall..
    I think you can roll this one out to all chain shoe stores. I've been in several dying malls that seem to have only 10-12 small stores left, and of those stores, four are:

    Finish Line
    Foot Locker
    Payless Shoe Source
    Famous Footwear
    Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but three lefts do.

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    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    A slew of arcades (more than normal)
    Offices - medical offices, lawyers, real estate, etc.
    Educational uses
    Check-into-cash stores and gold/jewelry stores
    Temporary holiday stores - Christmas, Halloween, calendars, etc.
    Offices where you can fill out surveys
    Used merchandise stores
    Department stores closed off from the mall and converted to Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Costco, Barnes & Noble, etc.
    Former anchor spaces that go through furniture stores like water
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  14. #14
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    -Banks of gumball machines
    -Beauty supply stores
    -Recreational clubs (bridge, etc)
    -'(xxxx) And More' stores

    Mike

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    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    Barbershops or cheap salons
    Nail techs
    I once saw a dentist office
    The used bookstore
    A shop selling whatever fell off the truck
    Once you get government offices you know the place is dead.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TexanOkie View post
    Food courts without any national chains. A symbol of authenticity for some people - at least in a different, more urban environment - is a bad sign in a 30-year old mall.
    true, true. I lived in a town once where the most recognized rest. in the mall was a "Corn Dog 7." It was a terrible mall.
    "Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even though they rarely stick to their plan." - Winston Churchill

  17. #17
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TexanOkie View post
    Food courts without any national chains. A symbol of authenticity for some people - at least in a different, more urban environment - is a bad sign in a 30-year old mall.
    What about local chains? I guess it would depend on the prominence of the local chain, too; for example, in Austin an Amy's Ice Creams or P. Terry's might not be seen as bad, but something like "La Chingdera #2" or "Happy Lucky Jade Dragon" would be scraping the bottom.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  18. #18
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    -pet stores
    -RV dealerships
    -Burlington Coat Factory, T J Maxx, Marshalls and the like

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Taquiera Jalisco #47

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    www.deadmalls.com is an interesting site.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    Out here we have ...berto's Just replace the ... with your name.

    Danberto's or Chetberto's would kill any mall.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    * Me and my son sitting on a bench near the food court wondering why my wife is taking so long.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  23. #23
    Really glurgey western store, with tons of dream-catchers, bad western art, overpriced turqoise jewelry and ugly western clothing. Off-brand boots galore.
    Je suis Charlie

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Great thread! I may write up a "Clues to deciding if your mall is dying" article and plaigerize you all.

    Let me add one - the Sears Dealer Store. The store may be doing alright, but its presence signifies that the market is often too small to really support an enclosed mall.
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    Multiplexes with at least *some* closed auditoriums.

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