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Monday, July 24, 2017

Malls And Online Shopping

The new issue of Time magazine ran an article about Malls and listed the shocking numbers of mall closures and that another quarter of those still existing could go out of buisness in the next five years. That’s not just stores that are inside the mall, that’s the entire mall complex! One figure it listed was that between 2010-2013, mall visits declined 50% due to online shopping. Now, I buy stuff online, but it’s only because the local stores no longer carry the items I’m buying. They used to carry everything I needed, but not any longer. I think this is one of the reasons why people are turning to online shopping. But, what the article and everybody else doesn’t seem to be taking into consideration is this: When I shop online, practically everything is mailed to me through the United States Postal Service - the post office. As we have seen in this day and age, no business is guaranteed to last forever and many fine businesses have closed in the last 10 years or so - Circuit City, Borders, Waldenbooks, Sir Beef, Hughes Electronics, New York Life Insurance & Trust Company, Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts, Western Auto, Service Merchandise, Kinney Shoes, Thom McAn Store, Revco, Rexall Drugs, On Cue, Woolworth’s, Heilig-Meyers, A.J. Bayless grocery strores, Builder’s Square, Coast to Coast Hardware, Blockbuster Music, Sam Goody, Tower Records and literally hundreds of more businesses! I was so shocked to find out about some of these that I just had to stop looking. Many of those stores are ones I used to shop at and now they’re gone! Where will all this lead us as a collective?

The point I started to make above was that the U.S. Post Office is just another business and as we have seen, nothing is guaranteed to last forever. I have predicted for several years now that the government seems intent on destroying the post office. Why else would they give up the multimillion dollar market of stamp collecting and switch to only stick-on stamps? As stamp collectors know, stick-on stamps don’t last. After a few years, the glue seeps through the front of the stamp, making them un-collectable. And just a couple years back, the government got out of the market big-time of mailing people’s Social Security checks, Army disability checks, etcetera, and went to direct deposit. It’s like they are morphing into an entity that no longer requires the post office. Why would they be setting themselves up to be post office-free? Could it be, that like me, they know the post office can’t and won’t last forever?

What are you going to do when you can’t buy what you want at a local store and you have to resort to buying it online, only to find that it can’t be mailed to you? Where are you going to get the things you need to live on then? That’s why I say support your local stores now before it’s too late.

The picture is of the University Mall, located at Carbondale, Illinois. I took it on September 3rd, 2016, with my Minolta X-370s and Kodak Portra 160 film.