The malls of America have seen better days. In the wake of the still-lingering economic downturn, vacancy rates at shopping centers — of both the “classic mall” and “strip mall” varieties — are at their highest levels since the twentieth century. [More]
Lovers of lukewarm pizza, despair. Troubled pizza chain Sbarro is getting ready to file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. The slice slingers are $365 million in debt and made the move after missing their interest payments. Part of the reason Sbarro has been suffering is because it has a lot of shops tied up in malls. Traffic to those dying down with the recession and the rise of online shopping has meant fewer patrons hitting the food court. The other reason is that their pizza is just sad. [More]
Earlier this month, two mall security guards in Montville, NJ, gave chase to a carful of suspected Victoria’s Secret shoplifters for six miles. Both vehicles eventually stopped at a liquor store parking lot two towns over, where a real policeman–who at first thought the guards were legit undercover cops–stepped in and started issuing tickets. [More]
In recent years, vending machines have gone from lunch room relics intent on eating your quarters and holding onto your Sun Chips to high-tech automated kiosks that sell everything from DVDs to ice cream, wine, beauty products, useless Farmville crap, electronics, designer bags and much more. But are they here to stay or is this just a trend? [More]
The Westfield Galleria in Roseville, California takes the comfort of its patrons seriously–so seriously, in fact, that it wants them to shut up and focus on shopping, or else ask for permission first if they want to talk about any topic that’s not mall related. Last week, the state’s 3rd District Court of Appeal found that the rule violated the state’s constitution, so now mall shoppers can gab as much as they want to each other. [More]
Not inundated enough with ads and coupons? Good, because the country’s largest operator of shopping malls is launching a program that will use audio waves to beam both coupons and ads straight to shoppers’ mobile phones. [More]
Audrey’s mentally disabled uncle was snookered by a mall skin care kiosk worker into buying $300 worth of product he doesn’t need. When his niece found out, the kiosk refused to do a refund saying it was “against policy.” Now her special needs uncle has only $40 left to live on for the week and the kiosk manager is ducking her calls. [More]
Passions ran hot during the recent G20 summit and inevitable protests in Toronto. Riot police tromped, windows were smashed, monetary policy was set, and this would-be consumer screamed at the locked doors of the mall for a good two minutes demanding to be let in so he could exercise his inalienable right to shop and really show those capitalist pigs what for. [More]
It’s been raining quite a bit on the east coast and especially, it seems, in Rhode Island, where the state’s second largest mall is under 2′ of water. [More]
Borders announced that 200 of their stores will be, in the words of their CEO, “right-sized” by January. The shredding focuses on Waldenbooks, Borders Express and Borders Outlet stores, mainly those in malls and airports. We kinda saw this coming.
Melvin Simon, founder of mega-mall operator Simon Property Group, died today at 82. While Simon is best known for running the largest mall operator in the U.S., with hundreds of properties nationwide, he made other — far more significant — contributions to America’s cultural landscape. And, no, we’re not talking about the Indiana Pacers, which he also owned. Simon was also a movie producer, and helped reinvent the teen sex comedy with “Porky’s,” the 1982 classic that introduced the world to the unique talents of Kim Cattrall and educated millions of young men about what not to do in the shower. We’ll remember you for that, Mel — not for flooding the nation with Hot Topics, Piercing Pagodas and A&Fs.
There’s a great post over on WiseBread by someone called the Frugal Duchess, about how her 10-year-old kid was schmoozed a little too successfully by a sales clerk at a tween clothing store in the mall.
This is old news to some of our readers, but not all: Microsoft is planning to open their own retail stores. What would such a wondrous place look like? Gizmodo has a concept Powerpoint presentation (what else?) that shows what the stores could look like.
Dallas writes, “Hey, I just saw this ad in on a local newspaper website. Glamour shots has apparently ‘changed.’ I guess they think there might be a market for people who will pay for nudie pics of themselves.”