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Shopping Malls- A Thing of the Past?

This is an interesting one. I am a product of the 80s, before cell phone and interest shopping, so the mall not only was a place to find what you wanted, but was also a social hub and a place go with friends. Can you say the movie Valley Girl? (one of my favorites!)

With the rise of the internet, shopping is at everyones fingertips on your phone or computer, are malls the relic of the past that will be phased out?

What is a “mall”? They can be in different shapes and sizes like the smaller strip mall with a grocery store and a few other stores to the megalith sized ones like Santana Row in San Jose.

Despite some of the headlines locally with some major retail shuttering doors in certain areas, there is still some numbers that show that malls have not hit the major decline that seems to be the flashy headline.

While the numbers do show a decline from 2019 (damn COVID Pandemic…) I think anyone of us can think of a mall that seems busy and others that seem like a ghost town. A lot has to do with where they are located and what is going on in the surrounding area economically, socially, etc.

The reality is that malls are changing and there are some creative ways to breathe some new life into malls that are not thriving. Read this article in the New York Times about animal centers have been cropping up in shopping centers across the country, taking advantage of retail space offered at discounted rates.

Malls are becoming data network centers or even warehouses. They are becoming the hot spots for the Pickle Ball craze as well.

Finding creative solutions to utilize the space available and recreating what was a traditional space into a new and functional purpose is necessary and not a novel idea. Thinking of San Francisco and the Westfield Mall and the impending closure of Nordstrom’s, I hope that city officials and residents alike can be open minded to finding new ides and solutions to breath new life into those spaces.

Lisa Cartolano

Compass | 01715440

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