The Marley Station mall has been around since 1987 and like many malls around the country, it is struggling to stay alive. Though it is not dead yet, the mall is quite fragile. Today we’re going to take a look at the mall’s history and its crumble in the wake of modern advancement.
Marley Station Origins
As we stated earlier, the mall opened in 1987. It was expanded in both 1993 and 1997 to accommodate growing demand. Tragically, this was not to last.
The original anchors for the mall were Hecht’s and Macy’s. J.C. Penny moved in around 1993, and then Sears was added in 1996.
The early 90’s were great for the mall. Brick and mortar shops were thriving. People were buying. However, by 2013, things were already looking dire for the old mall.
Speculation on Marley’s Fragility
According to Dan Bell, dead mall documentarian, the biggest problem that this mall faces is its reliance on crumbling anchor stores. Macy’s, J.C. Penny, and Sears aren’t doing very well.
Forbes.com did a write up about Macy’s back in 2016 and the department store hasn’t seen an increase in revenue since. J.C. Penny isn’t doing much better. They’ve closed stores and laid off employees continuously since 2014, though their decline began in 2010. To give you an idea of how Sears is doing, they lost about 10.4 billion dollars between 2011 and 2016. The department store giants are losing money left and right.
Marley’s Station Mall depends on its anchor stores to continue to drive revenue and the fact that they’re dying themselves is major cause for concern.
However, the mall’s decline is tied to a larger conversation about our economy and a changing world.
The Retail Apocalypse
The world has changed drastically since the 80’s and these changes have greatly affected the way that people shop and spend their time. Shopping online is ruthlessly efficient. We can find more specific items to meet our evolving needs rather than wandering around giant stores and being followed by desperate sales staff.
Not only that, but the crippling weight of student debt and the difficulty of making one’s way in the world is dragging the current generation down. The emerging millennial market doesn’t have the kind of disposable income necessary to support malls, and the disposable income they do have is going more towards small businesses, not big chain retailers.
Why go out to the mall when you can stay home? This is the battle-cry of the current generation; a rally to turn one’s back on frivolous spending in favor of staying afloat.