RIP Northland Mall

Somewhere around here, I have a studio-quality photo of me sitting on Santa’s lap at the J. L. Hudson store in Northland Mall. I can’t remember how old I was but it was before The Engineer was born, so I was under three. Northland was built the year I was born. It was originally an “open-air” “shopping center” (I actually remember that part — sorta) but was later enclosed into the style of mall that we all (or some of us anyway) have learned to love and then hate. Although we sometimes shopped at Northland when we visited our grandparents in Detroit, more often we went to the downtown Hudson’s, where The Commander worked as a buyer for a short time after college until my old coot decided they were moving — immediately — to the yooperland. Okay then. The downtown Hudson’s is long gone and, when they imploded the building, The Commander watched it go down on TV at The Engineer’s house.

I don’t know what’s going to happen with shopping malls but I do not think that they will survive all that much longer, at least not in their current format. I do NOT buy clothing at our local mall EVER even though one of the stores I often buy clothing from (Chico’s) is *in* the mall. I order it online. Chico’s either has colors or not. When they have colors, I order clothing. When they don’t, I don’t order clothing. The key thing is that I don’t have to trek out to the mall to find out what colors (or not) Chico’s has at any given time.

I used to *love* to go to malls. I grew up in a small town and although we could certainly get what we needed at the stores on the main street, my eyes were always wide with wonder at all the stuff available in the big cities of southern Michigan. I remember when Briarwood Mall came to The Planet Ann Arbor even though it was years after that that I moved here and I loved shopping there. When the first beach urchin was a baby, we would sometimes go there just to let her walk around on a cold winter night.

I’m not exactly sure when things changed but today, I order almost everything online except for grokkeries, which I mostly obtain locally and on foot. But… I read somewhere on the internet today that you could actually set up a standing order for terlet paper via Amazon or somewhere. Maybe I should do that because I *hate* schlepping home big packages of TP. Who knew?

I’m not sure where I am going with this blahg entry and I am not sure where “shopping” is going in the near or distant future. I don’t think malls are in our future, at least not in the same form-factor. What do you think?

3 Responses to “RIP Northland Mall”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I have to try things on, so showing up to a store is imperative for me. It doesn’t have to be a mall but they are more convenient if I’m looking for several things like clothes, shoes, towels, etc. I hate to shop and rarely do, but I’ve had terrible luck with ordering any on-line clothing or shoes. They don’t fit, don’t look like the photo, don’t look good, aren’t comfortable, etc. So, in my case, I hope that shopping areas, maybe not malls, stay around.

  2. Tonya Says:

    I really like the walkable retail districts popping up around here—quaint little town-style brick streets, soda-looking street lights, and little or no traffic (parking is grouped in areas behind the shops). Lots of restaurants, movie theater, and shopping accessible from well-designed sidewalks. I do wish more department store types would take hold in these areas. I tend to buy a lot of clothes online, too, but I sure haven’t had good luck with doing that with shoes.

  3. Pooh Says:

    I find that 90% of my clothes are bought on-line or from REI or are gifts. Our REI is in a strip mall, but manageable. Last Veteran’s Day, I wasn’t working, and needed some bras, so I went to Galleria, the closest mall. It was not yet too full of Xmas shoppers, and I went on a mini-spree. In addition to the underwear, I bought a pair of jeans, a pair of shoes and a pair of socks. All of it was on sale, except, ironically, the bras. That was the only time I went to the mall in 2014, and possibly 2013.