Monday, April 10, 2017

Indoor Malls Becoming A Relic (TED Talks)

YouTube filmmaker Dan Bell gave a TED Talks presentation on his work filming "dead malls".

Now that so many consumers are doing online shopping brick and mortar stores are becoming extinct as the Dodo bird and yesteryear's drive-in movies.

Check out his films featuring...
     "The Fairgrounds Square Mall"- Reading
     "Schuylkill Mall"- Frackville
     "The Gallery"- Philadelphia
     "Coventry Mall"- Pottstown
     "Granite Run Mall"- Media
     HIS ENTIRE "DEAD MALL" series of videos

At one time everyone did their shopping downtown. Then along came the malls. Now they too are facing the same challenges trying to survive in the marketplace. I tend to think the take away is consumers are no longer interested in large shopping mecca's. Smaller locally owned specialty shops seem to be more sustainable. While there still may be a need for 'big box' stores--consumers no longer seem interested driving on the ever increasing crowded highways more then a couple of miles from where they live to get to them.

One of the things I've noticed with my own shopping habits--when it comes to big ticket items--I can do better online.

We all can relate to the misinformation underpaid/commissioned retail sales employees sometimes gave us in order to make a sale. Online I can do a lot more research on the item myself without driving to several stores. Online delivery costs these days are compatible to what brick and mortar stores are able to provide. To name a couple Recently we purchased two custom made to order mattresses out of New York. A electric generator from Tennessee. Both purchases worked out well. More importantly I always try to buy American. Most retail stores carry inventories that are not.

There's more reasons I--like I'm sure many others--prefer to give my business to private owners. For the most part private ownership provides better benefits and salary to their workers because they don't have to pay out high salaries to corporate management and stockholders. Private owners have a lot more vested interest in providing quality products over some management employee drifting from company to company. To my way of thinking this is the old fashion way of doing business. When Al Boscov, Max Hess, John Wanamaker or other owners directly ran their businesses is nothing like these retailers we're seeing today. Too much overhead--less dedicated employees. No wonder malls are folding.

It's tough to always buy local. However this doesn't mean consumers can't support private ownership via the internet. Sorry if that's bad news for these malls, but I consider that a good thing.

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