The Death of Malls: Decomposing Before Our Eyes

By J1 Reporter Elsa Jurrens

 The idea of malls is genius. In short time span, a person could try on seven different pairs of shoes at seven different stores, eat five different types of food at the food court and even end the day with a movie. Most girls share the same core childhood memories of shopping at Justice or getting their ears pierced at Claire’s. And yet, the excitement and livelihood of shopping malls are dying. 

 A 2017 report by Credit Suisse predicted that 50% of malls would close before 2022. Keep in mind that was predicted before the pandemic. So, how is the Disney World of capitalism crumbling while the fast fashion industry continues to thrive?

The most obvious answer to this question is online shopping. Companies such as Amazon have built a monopoly with their vast selection of items and their wicked fast delivery rates. Junior Sofia Pantano said, “Amazon is super quick and easy. Plus you don’t even have to leave your house.” Online stores such as Amazon and Shein are the first websites most Marian girls search to find outfits and accessories for Field Week.

As the fast fashion industry grows, the harder it is for department stores to keep up with the new styles. Solely online stores such as Shein depend on their ability to create and ship out new designs at alarming rates and at extremely low prices. Malls cannot keep up.

Take a walk down any shopping strip mall and you will see empty shops or closing down sales. Shopping units in Village Pointe are constantly changing: as one store closes another one opens. Most of the stores that are lively and open at Village Pointe are usually behind on the trends or don’t carry as vast of a selection of sizes and colors like most online stores. 

 Physical stores and malls may lack ease, trendiness and selection, but they do provide something online malls don’t: the experience. 

Online shops don’t offer the same adventure as hand-on shopping does. The excitement of buying a new dress at American Eagle doesn’t compare to the ease of buying it online. 

Though malls and department stores are closing at shocking rates, it isn’t the end. Out of the 125 girls that answered the Network’s April survey, 49.2% still shop and hang out at indoor malls while only 8% try to avoid outdoor malls. 

Freshman Torrey McManus said, “I enjoy going to malls to see and hangout with friends.” McManus is not alone. Malls may always be a place for social gathering and entertainment, even if they aren’t for shopping. 

Graphic by Ceci Urbanski

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