A reflection on the 'retail apocalypse'

Category:  Opinions
Wednesday, March 13th, 2019 at 5:16 PM

When I was younger, mall trips were a fun, all-day family outing. It was always loud and busy while we walked around. I would sit outside on the benches with my dad and watch all the different people that walked by. In many malls today, if we were to do that, we would have to wait awhile before even one person walked by. Are malls going extinct?

Big malls like The Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills are looking more like ghost towns these days. Once they were some of the busiest places in the area, and now they seem to only get business at their movie theaters. How did this happen?

In 2010, something called the “Retail Apocalypse” took place. It’s said that this came from after effects of the great recession. Gas was well over $4 a gallon, and every market in the U.S. seemed to be dropping fast. People did not have the money to spend frivolously in a mall like they used to.

Many department stores: JCPenney, Macy’s, Sears and Kmart began closing many of their stores. Some may even remember Toys R’ Us closing its doors completely until its recent revival. The company went bankrupt and was nearly lost to time. Even after its revival, it will likely not go back to its former glory.

The retail apocalypse is still going strong in 2019. Over 4,810 store closures have occurred in just the first three months. Even Amazon, the online retail giant, is suffering. They plan on closing all 87 of its pop-up shops. In the end of this “apocalypse,” I cannot see malls making it out alive.

Shopping has made a clear move from malls to a computer, inside the comfort of the buyer’s home. “Why go out to a mall when I can buy anything I want in my house while eating?”

Should malls make a comeback? Is there an advantage to mall shopping as compared to home shopping? Is it just high rent in malls that cause them to go deserted?

Beau Bruneau | voices.spectator@gmail.com 

Tags: voices, retail

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