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Scott Campbell discusses evolution of shopping malls

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Scott Campbell discusses evolution of shopping malls

University professor of urban planning, Scott Campbell, contributed his insight on the reasoning behind the recent lack of shoppers at Westshore Mall in Holland, MI. On a national level, customers have been found to prefer strip-mall shopping environment compared to the crowded scene of mega-malls, due to the easy ability to come and go in a noticeably faster fashion. Campbell weighed in on the relatively recent consumer shift on Westshore’s commerce.

From the interview:

"One number I found was that in 1960, the average American spent twenty minutes there," says Scott Campbell, a professor of urban planning at the University of Michigan. "But by 1990, you spent three hours." Campbell says that peak was short-lived. Attitudes changed. Some bigger, regional malls survived. But by the 2000s, in smaller cities like Holland, people didn’t want malls. They wanted to park, go straight into the store, and get out, fast. Not trudge through crowds and food courts. "And when there’s a decline in an older mall, it shows," Campbell says. "And once shops start to close, there’s this vicious cycle of vacancy. It’s tough to reverse that decline. They shut off a wing, but there’s something almost sad or pathetic about it." http://wmuk.org/post/fix-struggling-holland-mall-developers-flip-it-inside-out