Cornwall ON – Are shopping malls a dying breed? In the movie Dawn of the Dead there was a symbolic presence of the Shopping Mall; something most of us grew up with. Today with online shopping and strip malls making a huge comeback thanks to the likes of Walmart are people Malled out?
Here in Cornwall our mall is showing its age and wear. The escalators are frequently broken. While I was there today both were shut down and the elevator was smelly and the floors in obvious need of repair.
There also was a glaring amount of empty space with tenants like Axxis Optical purchasing the old Standard Free Holder building rather than pay exorbitant mall rents.
The nearby mall in Massena NY also is facing some issues, and other area malls seem to be suffering to varying degrees. East Court Mall seems like a rest home at times. Have our shopping habits changed that much or have land lords simply priced their rents out of the marketplace? We see growth in the Brookdale corridor of new Smart Shopping centres that seem to have no problems attracting big box stores that for one reason or another didn’t want a mall space. Walmart’s lot is usually full at all hours of the day so people are still shopping as Cornwall grows; just not as much at the Square?
I asked several store owners, employees, and customers questions over the last few weeks and the answers simply boiled down to what was available and in a mall. Changing work hours, the economy, better deals at other stores were answers given. And of course empty stores in a mall put pressure on anchor tenants such as Sears in Cornwall Square or Justin’s No Frills or Shoppers Drug Mart.
Many people talked about service quality; and some said that all they really see are cell phone stores in the Square? Our missives to Cornwall Square management have yet to be returned as of press time.
Why do you shop or not shop at malls? You can post your comments below.