Why is the Mall dying?

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lostinmiddlemormonism
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Why is the Mall dying?

Post by lostinmiddlemormonism » Tue Sep 21, 2021 2:51 pm

Some of you might be around my age. I remember when the mall was a vibrant and fun place. It was always packed with people. You could get anything there: a new pair of jeans, a television set, books, sporting goods, a lawn tractor from Sears. The mall was a great place. Now though the mall doesn't seem quite so popular. Sure, the mall in my home town is still open, but when you go there it seems dreary and dank. There are only a small fraction of the people that used to visit the mall. There isn't much excitement or energy about the place. I got to thinking why that might be and I realized something.

When I was a kid you didn't necessarily go to the mall to BUY things. Sure, some people did. Even a lot of people, but not all. Some were there to exercise (we called them mall walkers); the teens were there to hang out with their friends. Some of the older people were there to enjoy the air conditioning, because they didn't have it at home. They enjoyed a nice cup of coffee while they relaxed in the cool dry air. There were a lot of reasons to be at the mall and it is what gave the mall its vibe.

But the mall owners weren't really that excited by this dynamic. The individual that were just walking in circles didn't help the bottom line. Those that were just taking advantage of the air conditioning didn't contribute either, and those pesky teens hanging out by the fountain were just an eyesore. They hired security to get rid of them. We were here for one reason...sell, sell, sell.

But Amazon and Walmart could do that cheaper and with more connivence. They didn't offer good walking paths or places for teens to hang out either so why not go there instead. The mall died.

It makes me wonder....why do people go to church? Some are there to worship, some believe the doctrine, some are there to hang out with friends, build business relationships, maintain family relationships, and a myriad of other reasons. But the owners don't really care about some of those reasons, about actually meeting the members needs. The focus in meeting the needs of the church, and as soon as the focus shifts from meeting the customers needs to meeting the needs of the owner, then the business (cough) sorry, CHURCH is going to decline.

You don't need inspiration to figure that out. You just need to look at your local mall.

-lost

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Red Ryder
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Re: Why is the Mall dying?

Post by Red Ryder » Tue Sep 21, 2021 4:47 pm

Great analogy and writing. It took me back to my local mall as a teenager hanging out. The smell of the food court mixed with new shoes, clothes, and stale air. A sniff of sweat from the mall walkers rushing by. :lol:

I don’t believe malls will be resuscitated to their glory days. Although we have a few outdoor versions now that have a decent vibe at night with restaurants, bars, and live music.

The decline of the church Is painful in many ways from a nostalgic perspective similar to your mall analogy.
Those who do not move do not notice their chains. —Rosa Luxemburg

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Ghost
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Re: Why is the Mall dying?

Post by Ghost » Tue Sep 21, 2021 5:03 pm

I stopped going to malls when the video game arcades disappeared. If my local chapel installed a Dig Dug or Bubble Bobble cabinet, that might bring me back to church at least occasionally.

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wtfluff
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Location: Worshiping Gravity / Pulling Taffy

Re: Why is the Mall dying?

Post by wtfluff » Tue Sep 21, 2021 9:19 pm

Ghost wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 5:03 pm
I stopped going to malls when the video game arcades disappeared. If my local chapel installed a Dig Dug or Bubble Bobble cabinet, that might bring me back to church at least occasionally.
Ha! DIG DUG!

We had an "Arcade Game" collection at one point with Dig Dug. My kid hated playing it with me because it was the only game I could beat him at. ;)

Oh, and... I think the last time I went to a mall was for a NOMie lunch. I have use for the food courts, the rest, not so much.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

The Beauty of Gray

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moksha
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Re: Why is the Mall dying?

Post by moksha » Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:56 pm

Ghost wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 5:03 pm
If my local chapel installed a Dig Dug or Bubble Bobble cabinet, that might bring me back to church at least occasionally.
Mormons disparaged Bingo Nights because Catholics and other religious groups had those, however, there might come a time when Mormons might abandon their arrogance and consider this attendance draw.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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Advocate
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Re: Why is the Mall dying?

Post by Advocate » Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:47 am

moksha wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:56 pm
Ghost wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 5:03 pm
If my local chapel installed a Dig Dug or Bubble Bobble cabinet, that might bring me back to church at least occasionally.
Mormons disparaged Bingo Nights because Catholics and other religious groups had those, however, there might come a time when Mormons might abandon their arrogance and consider this attendance draw.
I know people that attend large churches (500 people to 2000 people per congregation) that have church-backed hobby clubs, such as a car collectors club, a runners club, etc. My understanding is the church doesn't provide anything to the club beyond a location to meet and maybe some refreshments (not even sure the church provides refreshments), but these clubs bring people together and make the church more of a community.

Contrast these large churches with the LDS church. Any special groups outside of the "official" groups (e.g. Relief Society, Elders Quorum) are unheard of. They are shrinking the size of congregations making it less likely that people will find others who share similar interests. In a time when our society is becoming more and more divided, I would think the LDS church would be trying to make each ward more of a community. In reality, LDS church leaders are moving in the opposite direction.

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2bizE
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Re: Why is the Mall dying?

Post by 2bizE » Fri Sep 24, 2021 8:30 am

Red Ryder wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 4:47 pm
Great analogy and writing. It took me back to my local mall as a teenager hanging out. The smell of the food court mixed with new shoes, clothes, and stale air. A sniff of sweat from the mall walkers rushing by. :lol:

I don’t believe malls will be resuscitated to their glory days. Although we have a few outdoor versions now that have a decent vibe at night with restaurants, bars, and live music.

The decline of the church Is painful in many ways from a nostalgic perspective similar to your mall analogy.
The outdoor malls with restaurants, bars, and live music show how businesses have evolved to meet the needs of consumers. They have reinvented themselves into what the consumer wants. This is a large reason why the church is dying. It can’t reinvent itself into something meaningful and desirable for many people.
~2bizE

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