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Fixing Our Dying Mall

Updated on May 20, 2019
jackclee lm profile image

Before retiring, Jack worked at IBM for over 28 years. His articles have over 120,000 views.


As I travel around our country, I see many of our malls in decline. The only exception is in Seattle, WA. They seems to found a way to keep the mall alive and thriving. What is their secret?

-Aug. 2015

Some Suggestions to Improve Our Malls

The main problem with Malls is that America has changed our shopping practices. With online shopping and next day delivery, many young people prefer to shop online and avoid crowds. It is time for our Malls to find a new purpose and serve our communities in addition to being a place of commerce. Here are some ideas that will go a long way to making that happen. It does not require major renovations or costs.

The key to this is bringing traffic back to the mall. By creating an atmosphere that is inviting and have regular events geared for the local community, people will come out.

  • Create an area next to the food court that have tables for games such as chess, cards or mahjong.
  • Have a book store or reading area nearby stocked with a variety of old books. There are many libraries that have old books that they will donate to stock this.
  • Provide free WiFi access to the whole area.
  • Provide an exercise area or a meditation room.
  • A Seniors Center will attract many retired folks with lots of free time.
  • Have some vendors nearby to provide coffee, snacks, healthy juices etc.
  • Provide a small stage with sound and lights to feature some local musical talents.
  • Have an events coordinator to schedule special days around Holidays such as Veteran's Day where some local residents can be featured.
  • Have a regular reading event where local writers or poets can appear and do some reading.
  • Twice a year, get all the shops in the mall to have a sidewalk sale event.
  • Post the schedule of all activities by the entrances to the Mall and the Directory.

Crossroad Shopping Center in Bellevue WA


Our Malls are dying slowly. Something needs to be done to save them. They can help our community become more of a social gathering place. In areas where the weather may be a limiting factor, either too hot or too cold, the indoor mall is an ideal meeting place. By bringing people together, it will also help the traffic and bring additional business to the merchants. What is required is a different perspective on the function and definition of a shopping mall.

Here is an example of a thriving mall Crossroad in Bellevue WA, just outside of Seattle. There is no reason why it can't be duplicated elsewhere.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2015 Jack Lee


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