(Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images Europe) An interior view of the giant Westfield London shopping centre in England.
Westfield London shopping mall (Getty Images Europe)
"Every mall owner should get out of the game while it's still possible, and, as a show of good faith, I'll be willing to take all those mall deeds and make sure those empty malls get put to good use," Doug Barry wrote today in a post titled "The 'Mall Experience' Is Just a Crappy Old Version of the Internet."
His post, which blends a witty recant of his childhood mall-ridden days with an analysis on why online shopping is the future of modern consumerism, was written in response to this article in The New York Times.
To summarize it in a sentence: Mall owners are trying to keep shoppers by emphasizing the "mall experience" (ie: Adding Drybars, restaurants, yoga studios, craft stores, etc. so shoppers can engage in an experience that consists of something more than a clothing purchase).
Well, his closing statement really got us thinking. On one hand, it's waaaay more convenient to avoid the crowds, the seriously unflattering overhead lights in fittings rooms, and the annoyance of sifting through piles of clothes only to find nothing. And we don't doubt that Internet technology in the future could very well mimic the "experience" we receive from shopping centers.
But it's also consoling to know the option is there, right? If you really want a new outfit to wear in, like, three hours, you can hop in the car and go to the mall. (Cue Robin Sparkles here.)
We want to hear your thoughts on the issue. If it were up to you, would you slam the lid on shopping malls? Or do you think they serve a purpose that will never be matched by e-commerce. Weigh in with the poll below and share your reasoning in the comments!