Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Tripping trip to the mall – We live in a changing world – by Vijaya Schartz

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It had been a while since I last visited my favorite mall, my old stomping ground, the Arrowhead Mall in Peoria, the West Valley of Phoenix AZ. I used to walk there with a friend on weekend mornings, when the scorching heat didn’t allow hiking on the mountains.

On this particular Saturday morning, my Tai-Chi class in the park was cancelled, so I decided to revisit the Arrowhead mall before hours, and walk around to get some exercise. Lots of people do it to get their steps in the early morning.

To my surprise, many of the familiar stores were gone, sometimes showing shiny black walls or mall ads for the new upcoming stores.

But what surprised me the most was the kind of stores that replaced them. Instead of “Forever 21” was a very spooky Halloween store. Well, tis the season, and this is probably a seasonal opportunity. Unless this new store changes its theme for each season… Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, Mardi-gras, Easter, Weddings, Mothers’ Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day, etc.

A CBD Emporium in the mall? You better believe it. It’s legal in Arizona, and apparently it has become mainstream. Maybe this new and very lucrative business will rescue the malls from impending bankruptcy.

A shooting gallery, with airsoft guns, 50 shots for $9.99. Camo walls, military videogame style décor, and realistic looking guns. There used to be arcades in the malls, not anymore. But this isn’t a store for young children (at least, I hope not). It’s just a fun and game shop at the heart of the mall to practice your targeting skills. What does it say about our society?

The Disney store is getting bigger. T-Mobile has a larger space. A new game shop popped up. Not that surprising since videogames are definitely popular. Some of my old favorites survived, like Charlotte Russe. The Apple store is not going anywhere soon. There was a line in front of it, hours before opening time.

In a clothing store window, I saw a pair of jeans with wide bell bottoms, like the ones I used to wear in the sixties. It was presented as the “brand new” style of jeans. Oookaaay… new? Really? Like the brand-new revolutionary way to remove your makeup with this fantastic and totally new product called witch-hazel? For real? Don’t laugh it was a big commercial on TV. Then, the original company that had launched witch-hazel a long time ago did a commercial of their own, advertising selling it for over 150 years. I guess young advertisers should research the history of the products they promote.

A Pangaea Dinosaur Grill in the food court. First, I thought it was a Halloween feature, but no. It’s a true food court franchise. With realistic dinosaur head sticking out of the serving counter, and a dedicated line for the kids to take selfies with the dinosaur head. I’m sure they love it. Very smart way to attract customers.

A Sunglass Hut Ray-Ban window, advertising first generation smart glasses that can film and record and transmit or upload everything you see to Facebook. Spy technology? Or an obsession to record every minutia of our lives?

Do you see a trend emerging? You are right. Here is the cherry on the cake.

There also was a new SELFIE STORE. I was curious. It’s a store where, for as low as $18, you may use one of their photography booths and cubicles to take your own selfies. The small cubicles offer different color backgrounds and settings to choose from, and a photo friendly lighting. Having your picture taken at the mall just took a completely different meaning. The last time I did it, the trend was glamor shots… but I’m dating myself. Oh well…

Other than that, I had my exercise. Life is never boring.

For out of this world entertainment, read my award-winning sci-fi novels with lots of action and romance. Find all the links on my website and retailer pages below.

Vijaya Schartz, author
Strong Heroines, Brave Heroes, cats


  1. I haven't visited the mall for years except to hit Home Depot and Target. Haven't felt the need to walk the halls. Keep writing

  2. I can't remember the last time I walked into the mall, but I have a feeling that store fronts won't be the same. While there are some stores I could live without, there are some I would hate to see go.

  3. Thanks for the update...very entertaining (especially from the viewpoint of my comfy chair!)

  4. Wow, what a change! Geared to today's generation but do they shop or buy everything online?? Thanks for the great insight.

  5. The world it is a 'changing, and not for the better I fear.

  6. The world changes... and then repeats.


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