Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Malls R Us Doc Zone available on YouTube

The repackaged version of Malls R Us done by Doc Zone is on YouTube and you can watch it now!

Link is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAIDAzTtoCA


-- Brian

Monday, May 23, 2011

Good Morning America, how are ya? A quick stroll through downtowns, Upstate New York


James Howard Kunstler takes a ride up rural NY route 22 for some eye-catching observations on today's little towns and their society.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Malls Of A Certain Age

Good article that discusses the history of the mall, and how it can be relevant in the future.

"The enclosed mall ... is as dead as your average big-city newspaper. Which is to say: not dead yet, exactly, but no one’s betting on its future. Except for a few real estate developers, no one seems all that sad to see the Galleria in such a beleaguered state. The old-fashioned enclosed mall exists most powerfully now as a symbol of tasteless consumerism, ugly architecture, and bland corporate hegemony, revealing our recent past as unsophisticated suburban rubes. Yes, we were once dazzled by indoor fountains and Sunglass Huts."


Thursday, March 03, 2011

The Wealthiest Consumers driving Post-Recession Retail Recovery

The rich are spending more money...   they make up 5% of the population, and contributed 35% to the economy 3rd quarter of 2009.   Read about it here:


Friday, February 11, 2011

New Lives For "Dead" Suburban Malls

The suburban shopping mall has fallen on hard times, and Ellen Dunham-Jones, co-author of “Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs,” is thrilled, frankly.
“Every time we see a dead mall, it’s ‘Yay! Another opportunity to get it right,’ ” said Ms. Dunham-Jones, a professor of architecture at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

Ms. Dunham-Jones sees in the faltering suburban mall an answer to a pressing question: How can aging suburbanites remain in their neighborhoods, as a vast majority of them prefer to do? With June Williamson, an associate professor of architecture at City College of New York, Ms. Dunham-Jones makes a compelling case that shopping malls are ripe for retrofitting in ways that make life a lot easier for an aging population.

Read the full article here:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What went wrong at Borders?

So what happened to Borders? An early innovator in controlling inventory, there was expert staff at its Ann Arbor headquarters and store managers who believed in the value of book-selling. At its peak, Borders superstores had all the attributes of good book-selling—extensive selections, browsing space, coffee bars, and outreach programs to surrounding communities. In 1998, Borders shares hit an all-time high of $41.75.

Read the full article here:

Friday, January 07, 2011

Retail Sales Reports released : Results for 2010 are in

According to reports released this week, the 2010 holiday retail season was a slight improvement.  
Here are a couple of articles with different perspectives:

National revenue figures detail strong holiday sales period: 


Best holiday for retail sales in 4 years

Monday, December 27, 2010

Retail sales jump more than 5% for holidays, reports say

Retail sales jump more than 5% for holidays, reports say

Release of pent-up demand sends retail sales soaring for holidays

This is good news for retailers, but not for all of them.  January 6th is when the individual chains will release their sales figures.

Friday, August 20, 2010

"Reviving America's Dead Malls"


"We installed a curtain in our food court and used it to create an events center,” Poole says. That small step proved to be very effective. “It’s become a vibrant place where people can hold weddings and other events.”

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Warm East-coast Weather Prompts Mall Visits

In a rush of nostalgia, residences of the northeastern Mid-Atlantic and New England areas flocked to local area malls in search of the hallowed air-conditioned hallways of America's most sought after shopping and social meccas.

Now, if only this were true!

Did you go to the mall today? Can we assume that the intensity of the air-conditioning is directly proportional to the amount of foot-traffic and business being transacted in a mall? Find a dead mall and go in today, I bet it's a sauna in there. :-)

-- Brian Florence

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Retail Real Estate closer to becoming Monopoly

This has direct relevance to Dead Malls. Simon is preparing to acquire General Growth properties. Simon is already the largest mall owner in the United States.

There will be many redundant mall locations if this takeover is approved, and many more closings.


Friday, February 12, 2010

The Retail Shift

Interesting article on a once bustling commercial strip in the Albany, NY area that has since become desolate due to the shifting of retail to other locations nearby and the dwindling economy in general.

Businesses are abandoning formerly thriving commercial strips
  By CHRIS CHURCHILL, Staff writer
First published in print: Sunday, February 7, 2010

EAST GREENBUSH -- A once-vital shopping area is in decline, pocked with empty storefronts and laid low by the migration of shoppers to newer and shinier destinations.
A Capital Region downtown?
No -- the area's older commercial highways.
You know these roads. They flow from cities such as Albany like arteries, and in the 1950s and 1960s they pulled retail life from urban centers, becoming shopping destinations of their own.
Now, just a few decades later, some of these roads are past their prime. They've been bypassed by progress. What they once did to the old downtowns is now being done to them.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Requiem for the Mall

It is the ideal location for a post-modern horror, this shopping mall with no shoppers in the days before Christmas. It starts directly with the entrance: a vast, deserted parking lot, an entrance above the red neon lights only on one side burns. Inside: empty corridors. The canned voice of Julie Andrews echoes through the deserted room, the only sign that something is alive. Her "favorite things", snowflakes on eyelashes, should be included in this dreary mausoleum apparently a Christmas shopper evoking. Like the lighted Christmas tree, which is sadly behind a locked iron gate. And the chair for Santa Claus, empty, unfortunately.The fat boy smiling in nowhere in sight. Two boys on skate boards through the cracks passages along the closed shops, desolate, dark spaces in a covered street. Middle of the mall is a lonely bubble gum machine. "Everybody is a winner," the mechanical voice calls ever again luring child Merlin. But there are no children.

"Spooky, huh," cries the boy with a huge mess of the trash clean up imaginary shoppers. I nod. It is certainly creepy. My mate thinks differently, he is in his element. Brian Florence (32) is one of the founders of the website deadmalls.com.Ghost Malls are Brians hobby. As an amateur archaeologist, he digs into a consumer culture gone. "That was an Arby's," he points to a closed fast food restaurant. He recognizes it to the decoration and a dusty sign with the prices of chicken sandwiches. Not eaten here, the whole food court is closed.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

How The Aughts Killed America’s Malls and Newspapers – With One Stone

"DeadMalls.com is celebrating a decade of recording the death rattles of American shopping malls. Chronicling the nasty and brutish lives of malls throughout the fifty states with pictures and anecdotes, the site launched in 2000 and celebrates its first ten years next month. It seems a remarkably appropriate tenure."


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Black Friday

Another Black Friday is upon us. How many malls do you know have shuttered since Black Friday, 2008?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

JCPenney's Big Book catalog coming to an end

 Photo courtesy of Ebay and Sylelist

As the latest news reports have stated, this year's JCPenney Big Book catalog will be the last one, ending a 36 year old tradition. The company cites increasing costs of production and mailing of the massive catalogs and a dwindling consumer base in contrast to the ever increasing online shopping choices. According to the article at Stylelist, at the catalog's peak it had between 900 and 1,500 pages and in 1979 surpassed $1 Billion in sales.

JCPenney's soon to be gone catalog joins other retailer catalogs of the past such as Sears, which discontinued their catalog in 1993. The company plans on focusing on smaller scale catalogs and it's online offerings.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Destruction of the temple of consumption"/"Untergang der Konsumtempel"

A German article about US Shopping Malls. (the link has already been translated through Google Translation).

Be sure to check out the photos, very interesting. Especially the "Jesus Shopping Center."

Monday, September 21, 2009

"No identity, tons of competition... how can Festival Bay Mall survive?"

Article about Festival Bay Mall in Orlando.

Conceived in the go-go days of the 1990s, Festival Bay Mall was envisioned as a thriving entertainment destination. But the mall has struggled since it opened in 2003, and tenants say things have spiraled downward in recent months.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

"Memphis takes first step in retrofitting shopping areas"

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Malls R Us

An in-depth review and personal reflection on malls and our lives.
And, a very nice honorable mention:

"Deadmalls.com is not the name of a Romero-style horror film, although I suppose it could be, but a website started by Peter Blackbird and Brian Florence, who upon discovering the number of abandoned malls in the U.S. set out to document these fading monuments of American civilization."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"Deadmalls.com: Tracking Closings and Developments"

A quick mention for us by the people at Worldchanging who tries to solve the planet's problems.

Also notice this post from the site of an image essay on the future of malls.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Roger Ebert reviews "Malls R Us"

Some good promotion for the documentary project that Deadmalls.com appears in. Roger Ebert, famous movie reviewer, takes a look at Malls R Us. His review is available here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fading HoJo's chain seeks new knight in shining armor

Alas, a reporter dares to peer into the fate of Howard Johnson's 2009. Last we heard, LaMancha Group purchased the rights to the recipies with promises of resurrecting the once great Landmark of Hungry Americans, but to no avail.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

America's Most Endangered Malls

With the fall of Birmingham's Century Plaza, U.S. News and World Report's Rick Newman examines the rest of the country's malls to determine who's likely to fall next, in an article entitled America's Most Endangered Malls, appearing on Yahoo Business. Within the article, to contrast the list, is a list of the most profitable malls as well.

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

"Birmingham's Century Plaza wrapping up business after 4 decades"

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Op-Chart - The Fall of the Mall - Interactive Graphic - NYTimes.com

This New York Times chart shows the depth of drop in sales from the first quarter of 2009.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Report Questions Southridge Mall's Future

KCCI Des Moines article that references the Wall Street Journal article about dead malls. Mentions that their mall, Southridge Mall is considered a "dead mall".

(includes video of the mall)

There was also an article very similar to the Southridge Mall, the Towne Mall in Middletown, Ohio.

Recession Turns Malls Into Ghost Towns

    Malls, those ubiquitous shopping meccas that sprang up in the 1950s, are dwindling in number, with many struggling properties reduced to largely vacant shells.

    Read this very in-depth article that summarizes the mall as it relates to the economic conditions today that are effectively crippling it as a profitable business model.  Although, these days what industry is not hurting from the downward economy?   I worked with reporter Vanessa O'Connell to help her gather information for this article.

    See it here:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124294047987244803.html 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"Nothing Sweet about Etobicoke's Honeydale Mall"

Picture © Andrew Pakula

A blogger's pictures and comments about Honeydale Mall in Canada.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Smart Solutions For A Retail Apocalypse

Posted on Monday May 11th by Jebediah Reed from The Infrastructurist at www.infrastructurist.com...

Malls are being mauled. In case you’ve been paying closer attention to Wall Street or the housing market, rest assured that America’s once-bustling shopping meccas are doing just as poorly.

Last month, General Growth Properties, the country’s second largest mall owner, declared bankruptcy. Anchor chains are dropping like flies, from Circuit City to Filene’s Basement. The trend has even reached the level of irony as liquidation resellers are being liquidated. The practical implication of all this is that local malls are going dark all the time across the country, with the carnage being documented at sites like DeadMalls.com.

It’s fair to assume to that these vacant structures are now done forever–at least as old-school malls. But rather than let them become gaping holes in the fabric of our communities, it’s time embrace the national project of finding ways to reimagine them as vital, forward-looking developments. This is exactly what Ellen Dunham Jones and June Williamson have done in their book Retrofitting Suburbia. Recently we spoke with Dunham-Jones, the director of the architecture program at Georgia Tech, about how repairing the legacy of this failed American institution.

Read the findings of Jebedia Reed's interview with book co-author Ellen Dunham-Jones at The Infrastructurist: America Under Construction.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

What happened to Lincoln Mall?

I spoke with reporter Guy Tridgell about Lincoln Mall, and the shift of the mall culture in general, and what leads to the demise of the mall, or the consequence, depending on how you look at it.

Lincoln Mall is sick. The piped music and the shiny floors, the jewelry stores occupying every corner and the kiosks selling watches and cell phones tell you the mall is doing just fine.

The dusty silhouetted names of past tenants on the storefronts, the stores that no one has heard of before, the geese roosting on top of the old Montgomery Ward building tell you something else.

Lincoln Mall is fighting for its life.