Monday, February 26, 2018
List Day: 10 Thoughts About Malls
based on highly scientific research from my twice-a-week walk with Maia at the Dulles Town Center
- I never hung out at the mall when I was a teen. It was always a highly directed visit to Electronic Boutique or Babbages for a specific item and then back home. So, I have no sentimental attachment to the mall.
- The malls are dying and I see no good way to restore them to commercial viability without gutting them and adding more regularly-used community space or residential space. When I visit during a weekday, there are always more people "working" than shopping.
- If I were a high school student today and told to get a job, there isn't a more cushy job I can think of than a minimum wage mall job where you can sit on your phone for hours while no one enters your store.
- I want more people to go to the mall to increase its commercial viability, just not when I'm there at the same time. When I got there last Monday and realized it was a federal holiday, I almost turned around. For some reason, people actually buy things at JC Penney's during a President's Day sale even when the dollar value has not actually changed.
- I thought malls were boring as a kid because the stores were geared towards the people with money. Now I'm old and have money and the stores are still boring and not intended for me.
- Dulles Stores that cater to me: Books a Million (in spite of its deceptive "bargain bins" out front), Mind Games, and Popeyes. Runner-up: Gamespot, except the games are all hidden behind refurbished hardware and ugly collectible dolls so it's really just "Spot".
- Most frequented Dulles stores by other people: Starbucks and Chick-fil-a.
- Least frequented Dulles stores by other people: the African store run by the old white hippie and the store where you can repair your cracked phone screen or buy a pastel phone cover. Clearly, they're money laundering fronts.
- There's not a thing in any of the Dulles anchor stores that interests me. Macy's and Lord & Taylor seem to be the same inventory with different names. Nordstrom's is dead, but its whitewalled entrance provides a quiet non-trafficked corner where I can stand with Maia and not get bumped into while I wait for her nap to end.
- Sears needs to finish dying already. I remember buying all of my paint in the early days of homeownership from the paint lady at Sears who knew everything about paint until she got yelled at by her boss for taking too long with me and not cycling through the 8 other departments that still had the lights on. Today, the paint department is 4 rows of empty shelves next to an old stand of Christmas trees.
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