Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mall: The Story of Retail To Ruin

Get a Grip said...

But.....didn't the decline of Greenville visibly begin with the arrival of the mall? (Or two malls, as the Mainstream Mall was the first to arrive.) OK, the wheat embargo's effect on the towboat industry had an impact, as well. But the timing of both was in the mid-70's. Do Indianola and Cleveland and Greenwood have "malls?" NO! And look at their successful efforts to promote their downtown areas!

Look at Jackson, Ridgeland, Flowood, Madison, etc. Those malls come and go. Jackson Mall---no one under 40 remembers it. Metrocenter? I'm old enough to remember when its opening was a Major Deal, and wise enough to realize that it's since become an unsafe place to shop. Northpark? Buh-bye.

The glorified strip mall has made a comeback. And no sooner did Dogwood Festival Market open then its eventual replacement showed up in Ridgeland at Colony Park. The Mall has seen its season. It's time for something new. Mom and Pop stores, maybe? A Fred Carl-type investor? (Curse you, Jay Stein.) But wallowing in our own mire won't accomplish anything but get us even deeper in the mud.

Anonymous said...

Oh, no!! if the mall closes, where would I buy my Sponge Bob leather jacket or my confederate flag cell phone cover? Where will Belk dump all the garbage they don't sell in other stores?Please!!! That mall's demise is very close.

Anonymous said...

Just read about Office Depot closing 112 stores nationwide. Any news about our local store?

It is true that the arrival of "malls" was pretty much a death sentence to small downtown communities. Almost all Greenville merchants immediately abandoned the downtown area to move to the "Mainstream" or Greenville Mall in the early 1970's.

Obviously, Greenville could not support two malls opening within 6 months of each other. Subsequently, the Mainstream Mall lasted less than 3 years before it closed. Mall space is not cheap and the mall concept is that smaller merchants will profit from having a couple of "big" merchants draw all of the traffic.

That was the "theory" of mall merchandising that existed in the 70's and 80's. Then came Wal-Mart! Just as the malls killed our downtown merchants, Wal-Mart has killed the malls. Sam Walton took the convenience of malls one step further and put everything a human could possibly want or need under ONE roof... at cheaper prices. Is this really progress?

I know two types of people: those who think that Wal-Mart is the greatest thing since indoor plumbing; and those who consider "suicide" preferable to enduring the local experience! I fall just short of the latter. Greenville, and those communities who chose malls in the early 70's are suffering the most. Cities like Cleveland have maintained the ambiance of their quaint downtown shopping district, while enduring one of the largest Wal-Marts in the state.

2009 is not going to be a good year for Greenville merchants. I predict that we will see more store closings and perhaps the mall as well. This recession is not going to magically disappear by having a Democrat in office. The greed and corruption within our political system can not all be blamed on George W; nor will it disappear under Obama's reign.



Anonymous said...

forthwright, you said it perfectly!! I do love shopping at wal-mart bec there's so much selection (unlike kmart) and it's cheap. I live check to check, so i can't afford to shop in Jackson or Memphis. However, i also know walmart provides the worst healthcare for their employees in the industry. The treat any employee that is not a "white male" like crap. very sexist. I once had the misfortune of working for them. they seem to enjoy closing every other business in town down so they can be a monopoly. those commercials they show on tv are such crap! if there was a target here i'd shop there.

Anonymous said...

The treat any employee that is not a "white male" like crap. very sexist.

THAT'S CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I don't think the problem in Greenville is Walmart.
The problem is too many unproductive people that cannot push the local economy forward. The problem is getting worse, so do not expect new businesses (or improvement on services of old ones), recreational or cultural outlets, etc, etc...
I am getting tired of fried hot tamales, pseudo-italian food or having to walk through a kitchen to eat a decent steak(a great one, I should say!)

Anonymous said...

Well, walking through the kitchen to enjoy that great steak is one of the remaining pockets of charm we have left. The Big Problem is the uneducated and unmotivated workforce. Employee theft is another hindrance in bringing industry to our area. Why is this being tolerated? Who is making it possible?

Anonymous said...

G'villes problem is all to blame on city planning. Most cities that are doing well have done things like not letting peple build where ever they want to. I have heard that cities will open and close certain sections of their town to make sure everyting doesn't go in just one place. That way one side would grow just so much then they would say okay no more building here the next stage will be done over on the other side of town. Then once it seemed to catch up they would close and say okay only building will be done over on this side of town. Incentives and grants to build are given to those to build there and it seems to be working from what I've read about online about the new way cities are going about this. Suddenly neighborhoods started to spring up ,schools ,shops, roads and eatery's. Soon the city began to attract people and industry. That meant more revenue for they city to continue to expand.

Anonymous said...

did ya'll see in the newspaper where a town in Texas (near Houston) is asking to use our aquifer. I don't know how i feel about this...i would like to keep our resources to ourselves...i think.

Anonymous said...

My question is why are our taxes so high here in town???
$1600 for a 60k house!!!!

That's crazy!

A friend in Ark has a 250k house, there taxes are $1150.

ANOTHER REASON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

And what about car tags in this town? $10K a year for my $375K Lamborghini Murcielago. It is crazy!!!

Anonymous said...

8:52 I feel SO sorry for you. My 2002 Honda Accord was $152.00.

Ark vs MS said...

Arkansas has an entirely different tax situation, careful what you wish for. My understanding is that where you save on a house or car tax, you pay for nearly everything else in large purchases, such as boats, 4 wheelers, lawn mowers, exterior bldgs. etc. in tax fees yearly. If so, in the long run we may be better off than we know.

As for Greenville car tags, my mother explained it to me once when I was complaining that as a community it is much more "fair" to tax the cars than the homes. Her point was/is that more folks own vehicles than do personal property, so it is more disbersed in cost/expense for that reason. Think about Greenville and the economy and you will know she is right. Lots of people are renters in Greenville and will never own a home, but most anyone at some point will own a car of some kind and usually in family cases, more than one car at a time.

Anonymous said...

ar vs. ms-- you are so right! my mom said the same thing. more people in greenville own cars because they can lease them when they get their earned income credit. and 2or 3 individuals will come together and rent property because of bad credit or no down payment etc. often these people take better care of their cars than their homes. so i'm all for taxing cars.

Council flubs it! said...

City leaders waste tax dollars:
Click here:

**The council will continue to use Mississippi Municipal Liability for liability insurance that covers the city and the airport, despite Bill Andrews Agency's attempt to convince the council to use its services.
“The MML plan required no deductibles from the city, whereas the Andrews plan required a $10,000deductible per occurrence for both police and public officials,” said the mayor.

Council members Carl McGee, Lee Owen and Betty Watkins voted in favor of staying with MML, while council members Ann Hollowell, Errick Simmons and Kenneth Gines voted in favor of switching to Andrews, a Greenville-based agency founded in 1925.Hudson broke the tie by voting in favor of MML, which the city has used for the past four years.

But Bill Andrews, president of the Andrews agency, said his company's plan's premium was $53,037 lower per year than MML's. And because the city has had only two liability claims over the past five years, Andrews believes the council would have saved money by picking his plan over MML's.**

Seems to me a GUARANTEED savings of $53,037. as opposed to a potential $10 grand deductible would be worth the overall savings when considering there have only been two liability claims in five years. According to that, if we were insured through Bill Andrews in the past five years, we would have saved $265,185 and spent $20 grand for the two claims...let's see that comes to $245,185.00 in savings....that is a lot of mula!!! What are they thinking???? That is enough money to fund salaries for several employess or repair and improve at least a few streets!

Typical Greenville leadership strikes again!

Anonymous said...

Have you been in Lowe's lately?
I feel certain the store is closing. Just take a look at the inventory. So many people in Greenville will lose their jobs.
I'm so sad for our pityful city
and the people who want to work.

shellybean1001 said...
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