Consumerist Friday Flickr Finds

(Nicholas Eckhart)

Here are eight of the best photos that readers added to the Consumerist Flickr Pool in the last week, picked for usability in a Consumerist post or for just plain neatness. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

Finish Line Will Close 150 Stores Over The Next Four Years

Finish Line, a mall retailer that sells athletic clothes and sneakers, has had a rough year. Specifically, they’ve had supply chain and order management issues that began in the fall and lost them an estimated $32 million in sales. Today, the company announced that they’ll be closing as many as 150 stores over the next four years, almost a quarter of the chain. [More]

(Montgomery County Planning Commission)

Fewer Middle-Class Consumers Means Fewer Midrange Mall Anchors

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, there was a deeply symbolic changeover at the King of Prussia mall in the suburbs of Philadelphia. What used to be a large Sears department store has assumed its final form: it’s part Dick’s Sporting Goods store and part Primark, a fast fashion retailer out of Ireland. That’s just one mall that demonstrates a trend: the institution of the anchor store is dying out in malls. [More]

(Nicholas Eckhart)

Good News: Malls Where Rich People Shop Aren’t Dead

We’ve shared a lot of stories about dead and dying malls, and we wouldn’t blame you if you thought that the American mall is an endangered creature. Only it isn’t: high-end malls are doing just great. It’s malls in middle-class communities geared to middle-income customers that are suffering from high vacancy rates and failing tenants. [More]

Some Shopping Malls Forcing Stores To Open On Thanksgiving

Some Shopping Malls Forcing Stores To Open On Thanksgiving

Everyone knows that a handful of major retailers now choose to open on Thanksgiving, but most smaller businesses have remained closed on the holiday — whether it was out of a desire to enjoy the day, or simply because the extra expense of paying people to work on Thanksgiving wasn’t worth the few hours of additional sales. But now some shopping mall operators are spoiling the holiday for their smaller tenants by forcing them to open up on Thanksgiving. [More]

N.J. Mall Decides Not To Charge Admission To Santa’s Lap After All

N.J. Mall Decides Not To Charge Admission To Santa’s Lap After All

When something is free one year and then comes with a fee the next, you better believe there are going to be customers who notice. As such, the management company at a New Jersey mall has backed off its experiment to charge visitors for the privilege of meeting (or even seeing) Santa Claus after parents complained that access to St. Nick’s lap should be free for everyone. [More]

(pirate johnny)

Should Malls Charge Kids For The Privilege Of Visiting Santa Claus?

UPDATE: Later on Monday, the mall’s management group announced it had decided to make visiting Santa Claus free after all. [More]

Shoppers At Simon Malls Do Not Want Santa Claus Living In Some Sleek, Modern Version Of The North Pole

Shoppers At Simon Malls Do Not Want Santa Claus Living In Some Sleek, Modern Version Of The North Pole

His belly will always resemble a bowl full of jelly, he will always drive a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer and Santa Claus will always live at the North Pole. And according to disgruntled shoppers at Simon Malls, his polar home at the mall dang well better be in the traditional style we’re all used to, and not some futuristic, modern place with nary a poinsettia in sight. [More]

(Facebook)

BaubleBar Latest E-Commerce Retailer To Open A Real-Life Store

If you’re worried that online shopping is killing off real-life commerce, don’t fret just yet. A popular online jewelry seller, BaubleBar, is bringing its brand to Roosevelt Field Mall on Long Island. Yes, they’re moving from online to real life, opening a physical store where loyal customers and new ones can touch and try on their jewelry before buying. [More]

(Photos in the Sunset)

Suspect In Mall Pretzel Stand Robbery Hides Out In Same Mall’s Chili’s

Last night, something scary happened at the Macomb mall in Michigan: a man passed a pretzel stand employee a note demanding cash and stating that he had a gun. The employee handed over cash, and the robber left on foot. Police and mall security didn’t have to look very far, it turns out… they spotted the suspect at a standalone Chili’s restaurant that shares a parking lot with the mall. [More]

Hot Topic Buying Parent Company Of Online Retailer ThinkGeek For $122M

Hot Topic Buying Parent Company Of Online Retailer ThinkGeek For $122M

Mall staple Hot Topic is taking another chain under its umbrella for a $122 million price tag, announcing that it’s acquiring Geeknet, Inc., parent company of online retailers ThinkGeek and ThinkGeek Solutions, for $122 million. Commemorative T-shirts with cheeky sayings for everyone! [More]

(Nicholas Eckhart)

Macy’s To Launch Quartet Of “Off-Price” (AKA Discount) Stores This Fall

Earlier this year, Macy’s said it was going to dip its toes into the waters of discount retailing by creating some sort of off-price offshoot of its department store chain. Today, the retailer confirmed some details about the first four locations for the store it has dubbed Macy’s Backstage. [More]

(markheybo)

Sears Announces Final Two Stores They’ll Be Sharing With Primark

Last year, as part of their “taking on roommates” strategy of keeping their doors open, Sears announced that they were leasing parts of seven stores to Primark, a clothing retailer out of Ireland. Sears has finally named all seven of the stores where Primark will be moving in. All seven are in the Northeast. [More]

Outlet Malls No Longer Relegated To The Middle Of Nowhere

Outlet Malls No Longer Relegated To The Middle Of Nowhere

Outlet malls used to be outposts far from major cities where shoppers and tourists could trek for a shopping adventure. As outlets of department stores and brands alike have become more popular with price-conscious shoppers, outlet malls have grown in popularity, and also slowly crept closer to population centers. There’s even an outlet mall within the city of New Orleans now. [More]

(KHOU-11)

Mall Sends Wrong Emergency Alert To Retailers During Robbery, Prompting Scare Over Active Shooter

Being inside a store when the gates clang down and having employees rush you into a back storeroom is bound to be a scary experience. And it was one that was totally unnecessary at a mall in Houston, after mall management accidentally sent an emergency alert to retailers warning of an active shooter on the premises, instead of a smash-and-grab robbery at a jewelry store. [More]

Apple Stores Rake In Money, Get Mall Rent Breaks

Apple Stores Rake In Money, Get Mall Rent Breaks

An article in the Wall Street Journal today forced me to face a difficult truth about myself: I only go to the mall when one of my Apple products breaks or I want to test makeup. I’m not alone in this, apparently, because Apple Stores are replacing department stores as a driver of traffic to malls, and they’ve worked out unique rent arrangements because of that. [More]

From the proposal for American Dream Miami (via The Miami Herald)

Mall Of America Owners Want To Build An Even Bigger Mall In Miami

The company that operates the mammoth Mall of America in Minnesota and the larger West Edmonton Mall in Canada are looking to erect an outsized shopping destination in warmer climes with a new proposal to build a combination mall and amusement park in the Miami area. [More]

Northland Center - the nation's oldest shopping mall - is set to close. (Google Street View)

Detroit-Area Shopping Center Goes From Nation’s Oldest Mall To Nation’s Newest Dead Mall

If you spend much time on Consumerist, then you’re probably aware of the current sad state of the world’s malls; from the former largest mall in the world being demolished to those full of fish or snow covered, it isn’t exactly a pretty picture. Today, we learn that another historic shopping center will soon trade in its purported title as the nation’s first regional shopping mall for that of the latest “dead mall.” [More]