The Death of the American Shopping Mall

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The Death of the American Shopping Mall
The Death of the American Shopping Mall
The Death of the American Shopping Mall
The Death of the American Shopping Mall

In the US shopping malls are on the decline, being made obsolete by online shopping and no longer a desirable social scene. The question is how this will translate to the future of the malls of Thailand?

The shopping mall was a distinctly American creation. Originally, shopping strips and shopping districts were wideopen spaces. People would park in front of the stores, and they would walk the street that lined a series of shops. In fact, certain shopping districts in many cities were very specialized. If you’re looking for clothing, you’d go to a certain section of the district. If you’re looking for shoes, you’d go to another site. These traditional shopping districts were laid out in a flat, open way like a mall. The big innovation with the modern shopping mall is that it enclosed the shopping district within four walls.

It centralised parking and climate control. Instead of walking the sidewalks that lined all these shops or freezing during winter or feeling burned during the summer, you can enjoy the same cozy and comfortable climate all year round indoors. The ‘Street Wise Journal’ reports that malls are on the decline and that the number of malls being mothballed and shut down continues at a steady pace. If the current trend continues, there might be very few malls in America left in several decades. What gives? The change in the US is intergenerational. Thanks to online shopping as well as the wide variety of American pastimes, the mall has lost out. It used to be that the mall is a great place to watch a movie, meet up with your friends, and hang out.

Now, you can do that at home with a video-game console. If you want to experience nature, you go to a park. There are a lot more activities competing that it can no longer be centralised by the mall. Moreover, the primary benefit that the mall brings to the table, shopping, is handled quite effectively and conveniently by online shopping malls and e-commerce giants.

The final nail that is being driven through the coffin of the American mall is the rising perception that the mall is a relic of the past. It’s a place where people who have nothing else better to do than hang out. It’s not the “cool” place that it used to be. Put all these factors together and it’s no surprise that the mall is on its way out. The question is how this trend will be manifested in Thailand. Currently mall developments continue to burgeon but will these become shopping dinosaurs of the not too distant future?

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