Figuring out what to do with overbuilt retail could become part of creating a better suburban economy, no? One suited to present reality better than dreams of endless, mindless growth?
We recently went along on an organized walk to see a mall here in Mississauga, Ontario that has replaced much of its retail space with services. One of its former anchor stores has been insurance company office space for years now. Many U.S. malls are in places where the surrounding economy is not as strong as it is here. That’s a problem. But if the dead malls are up and built on land already hooked up to municipal services then they are candidates for some creative thinking. We’d rather see a dead mall redeveloped than farmland destroyed.
Where a shopping mall used to be an opportunity arises
The decline of malls in America can mean lost jobs and lower tax revenues for states and municipalities — but not always
image: Travis Estell via Flickr/CC
Cash flow problems? Well, we can’t say we like the closure of Goodwill stores in Ontario. And what of the presence of a high pay and high profile manager while this flop occurred? The stores and their associated services play a role for those in social difficulty here. But only when they are open.
Goodwill workers blast charity’s CEO over closures. Workers frustrated and furious at the abrupt closure of 16 Goodwill stores, 10 donation centres and two offices
thestar.com (video 00:57)
image: Leslie Abraham via Flickr/CC
Everyone settles into a relationship with the thrift shops. Maybe its just for a book or two a year and not necessarily for a course in how to make work socks from the sleeves of 80s sweaters but sooner or later we acknowledge the thrifts. EBay and Etsy, too.
Who doesn’t like a bargain? Canadians commend themselves when they recycle a thing, however small. Second hand is all around us and seems to be a true growth industry offering entertainment and a sense of discovery along with hard goods. Those in social difficulty have been ahead of the better off on this file basically forever. At first we thought a formal economic index for thrift, an S&P 100 for Canada’s junk shops and vintage clothing might be a bit much but we’re finding it impossible not to acknowledge value in this offering from online reselling powerhouse Kijiji.
The Kijiji second-hand economy index: 2015 report
38-page .pdf file
image: S Jones via Flickr/CC