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Adlen Robinson: People still visit shopping malls
Adlen Robinson

I grew up going to shopping malls. In fact, many of my Saturday adolescent years were spent roaming through the large anchor stores and numerous smaller stores inside the mall. 

It’s so funny to me to think back to that time when my mom or dad would drop us off at the mall in the morning and pick us up at dinner time. 

When I told Paul about my mall excursions, he was incredulous. 

“What did you do all day?” he asked.

We just walked around, looked at things, probably were on boy watch, ate lunch and bought a few things. It’s not like we had lots of money. It was obviously a different time. A time when we had no cell phones and yet our parents were not worried about us being in a public shopping mall for hours on end. 

Did you know the largest shopping mall in the world is in China? It is called the New South China Mall and is in Dongguan, China. It’s 9.6 million square feet. The second largest mall is also in China and is 7.3 million square feet. The third largest mall in the world is in the Philippines, which surprised me. It’s 5,844,600 square feet. 

The most visited and largest mall in America is the Mall of America near the Twin Cities in Bloomington, Minnesota. It is nearly 5 million square feet. I have not yet visited the Mall of America, but it is on my bucket list. 

Did you know that during the 1990s malls were being built at a rate of 140 a year? Then, in 2001, a study came out saying there was an increasing number of “dead malls.” These were malls that were “dying” due to anchor stores closing, leading to a vast decrease in mall traffic. In 2007, no new malls were built in America for the first time in 50 years.

In our area, the malls seem to be doing fine and even booming. Even with the continued surge of online shopping, people still seem to be flocking to the malls. I do love shopping online but ordering clothes or shoes online and then having to return things that don’t fit is not fun. 

Even household items are sometimes a disappointment when you buy them online. Especially when it comes to home décor, I need to see things in person and not on a screen. 

Speaking of ordering online, do you remember when the internet first became a thing? I do. I remember saying I would never order things from a computer, thereby compromising my credit card information. How funny. 

I remember thinking it was crazy to think people would actually purchase things without seeing them in person. How wrong I was.  Now people buy everything from food to appliances to cars online. 

Even with the continued growth of the internet, people are still flocking to malls — especially in our little corner of the world. 

South Forsyth resident Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at