In small biz, do red-letter signs yield red-letter days?

As I prep for a much longer, photo-heavy blog article, I offer this brief filler, with a new take on some familiar material: a declining, heavily vacant strip mall in a suburban area, this time in metro DC (the Maryland side).We’ve all been here before: these days, blighted strip malls are just as common in

Cortana closes mallwalking…and then closes altogether.

As I work on a longer, more photo-saturated post, I have to get a little snippet in because of some news that a reader recently sent me. The Cortana Mall (or the Mall at Cortana) in Baton Rouge recently closed. The only functional portion left is a Dillard’s Clearance Center, which, though physically connected to

Ridgecrest retail reticence: even remote communities are reeling from reduced relish.

Strategically located in the middle of sun-baked somewhere, the military city of Ridgecrest, California offers the accidental visitor a surprisingly populous alternative to the preceding and subsequent miles of Mojave desolation. By contrast, the deliberate visitor’s most likely destination is Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, a munitions and explosives testing range and research facility,

Metrics for mallwalkers.

The cultural standards for commerce continue to evolve across the nation, to the point that shopping is no longer a peripatetic pastime. It seems obvious by this point that malls are bearing the brunt of this cataclysm. People still shop, but they don’t go shopping. Sure, there are plenty of sterile strip malls or shopping

The Sandusky Mall’s precipitous fall.

While this article treads across some familiar territory—dead and dying malls—it arrives through a different lens: the eyes of a friend and fellow devotee of interesting landscapes. I blogged many years ago about Sandusky—specifically an unusual Value City Furniture in the heart of downtown—but I spent very little time in the area that one would

Small town retail: is the outlook any better than the cities?

I’ve spoken numerous times about the dire state of retail, and I’m hardly alone. National urban publications have covered it, obsessing in recent months how even the Borough of Manhattan, America’s most densely populated urban settlement, is witnessing increasingly yawning gaps between its occupied storefronts on formerly bustling streets. And it’s not like the island

Metrics for mallwalkers.

The cultural standards for commerce continue to evolve across the nation, to the point that shopping is no longer a peripatetic pastime. It seems obvious by this point that malls are bearing the

The Sandusky Mall’s precipitous fall.

While this article treads across some familiar territory—dead and dying malls—it arrives through a different lens: the eyes of a friend and fellow devotee of interesting landscapes. I blogged many years ago about