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The mall

February 5, 2009 - Ashley Gurbal

I stumbled upon this New York Times story ("Our Love Affair With Shopping Malls is on the Rocks") via Informationista and it really gave me pause.

An excerpt:

"In other words, shopping was part of the problem and now it’s part of the cure. And once we’re cured, economists report, we really need to learn how to save, which suggests that we will need to quit shopping again.

So the mall we married has become the toxic spouse we can’t quit, though we really must quit, but just not any time soon. The mall, for its part, is wounded by our ambivalence and feels financially adrift."

You don't have to be an economist to know it's happening here, too. Stroll through the Logan Valley Mall and see the empty store fronts. I'm still mourning the losses of Kirkland's and B. Moss, and honestly, I never did get over the fact that DOTS pulled out more than a year ago. (It was recently replaced by a kitchen supply store, though, so maybe all's not lost.)

The NYT story paints the picture of the American mall and why we (or at least I) love it: It's the one-stop-shop for everything you  never knew you needed. Kitchen gadgets, electronics, lingerie, nail buffers, power tools  ... you want it, you can probably get it at the mall.

Of course, the local rumor mill has run amok with tales of what's about to close. If you listen to those stories, Altoona's going to be a shuttered-up ghost town come summer. But when you think about it, Altoona is a shopping mecca for smaller towns within at least a 60-plus-mile radius.

Before you knock it, stop someone in the mall from Elk County and ask them where else they go to shop. And those folks -- who plan day trips to Altoona for back-to-school and Christmas shopping -- are a big part of why I don't think you'll be seeing the Logan Valley Mall on any time soon.

I have to echo the words of the computer repairman NYT interviewed at the Mall of American in Bloomington, Minn.:  “Yeah, I could quit the mall. But I don’t want to see it die.”


Article Comments

Feb-09-2009 3:43 PM

I love the Logan Valley Mall... That is the only reason I visit Teri. hahaha. Anywho... I dont think that mall is going to die. It may have a little flu this year, but it will turn around. Fo Sho


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