The New Mall

Appeared in The Webster Review at Webster University, September 1980

We’re so excited about the new mall. It opened today. There are 570,000 square feet of enclosed shopping space, on eighty-five acres of land. It’s right off the first exit into town from the Interstate.

The new mall is centrally air-conditioned.

The new mall has fifty-two stores-three satellite stores and forty-nine smaller shops. More stores will open with the completion of Phase II, in the spring. It is supposed to be the biggest mall in the state. That’s what the article in the paper said today.

It’s really going to change things around here.

We went to the mall today for the grand opening. Williams-Marsh (one of the satellite stores and by far the nicest of the department stores) was having a microwave oven giveaway. (We didn’t win.) One clothing store hired models to stand in front as human mannequins. A crowd gathered, waiting for the models to blink.

The mall was crowded. We drove around the parking lot for fifteen minutes before we found a space. Inside, we were elbowed on all sides. There were slow-moving shoppers, and others who walked quickly. They were eager to see all the new stores in the mall. They’ve been planning the mall for two years, and the whole town has been impatient for it to open.

The new mall is decorated in shades of yellow and green.

There are several places to eat in the mall. They are all together in a special section, and they face out on a group of tables. One place is a salad bar, another place sells tacos, and another place sells pizza by the slice. It’s nice to have a place to sit down. I saw something like it once at a mall in Cincinnati.

That mall is two stories. Our mall is only one story, but that’s
enough for us.

We bought a big cookie at Grandma’s Cookie Counter.

We have something to do now. It’s so nice to have a big mall in town. Before, we had to drive fifty miles south or seventy miles north to get to a good mall.

Now people will be traveling that far or farther to get to our mall. It is supposed to be the biggest mall in the state.

We all wonder how this will affect the old mall. We really don’t care too much. Jas. B. Green, the major department store at the old mall, has announced it is moving to the new mall. The manager of the old mall said that the merchants there were counting on customer loyalty. We wouldn’t count on it. With Jas. B. Green gone, there won’t be any reason at all for going there. There’s nothing to attract shoppers. It has three drug stores, a dime store, a paperback bookstore, a clothing store, a laundromat, a pinball arcade, some gift shops, a cafeteria, a bank. and Jas. B. Green. The new mall has all of the same sorts of stores, but more of them. The old mall was nice when it opened, but it’s boring now.

At the old mall. there weren’t any really nice stores. Even Jas. B. Green didn’t have much. We could walk though it and not feel that we had to buy something. At the new mall today, we walked through Wiliiams~Marsh and saw so many things we’d like to have. We saw linens, and kitchen accessories, and clothes that we wished we had the money to buy. We’re looking forward to shopping there.

It will give us something to hope for.

It’s not as nice as some malls we’ve been to, in Chicago or Miami or Dallas. Dallas and Fort Worth have the nicest malls we’ve ever seen. Our cousin lives in Fort Worth, and they have a mall just a half-mile from their house. It’s a two-story mall, like the one in Cincinnati. The new mall here is only one story, but that’s enough for us.

Aside from the cookie, we didn’t buy anything at the new mall today. We were just looking.

We ran into a lot of people we know tonight at the mall. We saw almost everyone from the office. It was all we could talk about at work today. We asked all our friends that we ran into tonight, and they agreed: it’s a nice mall. It will give us something to do now on Saturday afternoons. Before, on Saturday afternoons, there wasn’t anything to do. We could go to the old mall, but we could walk through it in a half-hour, and be ready to go home.

We agreed: it will take a long time to get bored with the new mall.

The town is pretty boring, but the new mall should help. The town is picking up. There’s talk now of a new industrial park and a convention center. It’s going to be fun to go to the mall. It will be nice to shop there together.

Life is looking up.