I’m in Chicago this week and that means a lot of visits with family and friends….and a trip or two to the mall. Confession: I sometimes like shopping in malls. Don’t get me wrong. Nothing beats New York for pure shopping adrenaline and magic. But New York shopping takes planning and stamina. A trip to the mall can be spontaneous.
Mall shopping naturally has its disadvantages. The variety of stores is disappointing–how many Gaps and Victoria’s Secrets does any community need?
The exponential increase in e-commerce and availability of previously hard-to-find brands may eventually bring the death of the mall. For example, I just bought Pamela Love earrings and a Bodkin dress on sale from Bona Drag online. I could never walk into a mall and find these treasures.
However, malls offer some comforting advantages:
1) I still love the tactile experience of shopping, and of carrying an armload of clothes to try on.
2)There is the assurance that all the stores will be open until a designated time, unlike some boutiques, which can be unreliable.
3)You can browse online, and then go to the mall to try on what you like, thus removing the annoying delivery wait. Immediate gratification is a positive thing sometimes.
In the name of research, I went to a mall in suburban Chicago and found some things that may make a trip worth your while. Just stay away from the food court.