[sbs_tax tax="States"] [sbs_tax tax="Albany"]

NJ Chasing News: lurking amidst the zombie malls.

If you live in the NYC media market, I made the local news a few days ago.  The clip is now available on YouTube. NJ Chasing News interviewed me last week, in the wake of the escalating vacancy in malls, both in North Jersey and across the country. I only physically appear briefly (it was a

Lifestyle centers: with Saucon Valley, neither lively nor stylish.

Now that the holiday season is long behind us, we can only hope to rebound from the latest wave of contractions among our perpetually ailing retail sector. You know what I’m talking about. After dismal holiday performances, chains like Sears, Kmart, and Macy’s announced a slew of nationwide closures.  Meanwhile, smaller, specialty retailers The Limited and

Mall department stores: will the last one please turn the lights out?

We’ve been hearing and witnessing for years the turbulent state of American retail. Conventional sellers of durable goods—of housewares, sporting goods, electronics, and clothes—have suffered in general, and malls have suffered in particular. But even more salient have been the struggles of the historic department stores to our malls. Scarcely a week goes by when

T e d i u m: dead malls morph to artistic frontiers.

I just learned something I wouldn’t have expected even a week ago: that someone has asked permission to feature an American Dirt photo in a vaporwave video. Not something I would have ever expected, but here it is. At first blush, it might not seem like much: nothing more than a lingering, static view of

For moribund malls, there’s redemption in restaurants.

Amidst the prosperous expanses of suburban Philadelphia, we encounter a mall.Let’s get real here. This the eighth largest metro area in the country. Of course there’s a mall—quite a few, actually, and this blog has covered more than its fair share. This one, heretofore unexplored and located within Montgomery Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, is appropriately

Mall history at Plymouth Meeting—a possible seal of disapproval?

I’ve predicted the implosion of malls—along with my reasoning as to why they’ll implode—many times on this blog. Though my predictions have yet to come to widespread fruition (and I really don’t want them to), it remains obvious that malls claim a much smaller swatch in the tapestry of American consumer culture than in the

Power centers: where beauty is in the eye of the consumer.

Particularly in the last few months, this blog has honed in on retail trends that usually point to the slow demise of the conventional, enclosed, middle-class shopping mall. I just can’t get enough of the topic. And most evidence suggests that, with the possible exception of the high-end ones, the mall is typically failing to

Measuring malls through malleability.

Hot on the heels of my podcast is another retail rumination. By now, it’s safe to assert that the conventional enclosed shopping mall—long the paragon of middlebrow American commerce—is an eviscerated zombie, trudging onward with no clear goal, and a huge contrast compared to the heydays of the 1970s and 80s. I’d wager that up

PODCAST: What are we going to do about all these dead malls?

Now that I’ve finally gotten my computer repaired (and my hard drive replaced), I can prepare American Dirt for a variety of great new posts.  But my latest is in a format new to me: the podcast. I met with Aaron Renn over at The Urbanophile last week, where we had an extensive conversation about

Will doggie bags replace shopping bags?

With the future of malls more uncertain than ever, it’s understandable that mall management must defy tradition now and then, if that’s what it takes to secure a tenant. Because these days it’s not about finding the right tenant; it’s about finding any tenant at all. America is already among the most over-retailed countries, perhaps

For moribund malls, there’s redemption in restaurants.

Amidst the prosperous expanses of suburban Philadelphia, we encounter a mall.Let’s get real here. This the eighth largest metro area in the country. Of course there’s a mall—quite a few, actually, and this

Measuring malls through malleability.

Hot on the heels of my podcast is another retail rumination. By now, it’s safe to assert that the conventional enclosed shopping mall—long the paragon of middlebrow American commerce—is an eviscerated zombie, trudging

Will doggie bags replace shopping bags?

With the future of malls more uncertain than ever, it’s understandable that mall management must defy tradition now and then, if that’s what it takes to secure a tenant. Because these days it’s