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People Imagine All The Ways They Could Make American Malls Cool Again

People Imagine All The Ways They Could Make American Malls Cool Again

Malls are a nostalgic part of almost anybody who was alive before the 20th century. When we were in middle school, malls were absolutely unstoppable: you could do anything, at any time, with anybody when you went to a mall. Friday nights were spent browsing Hot Topic for the best new stuff to wear to the movies.

But nowadays the American malls stand silent, a sad tribute to what teenage culture in the country once was, knowing that there is not likely to be a way for malls to ever return to their former glory again.

But some of these people had ideas.

Redditor u/GrymmTravel asked:

"What will it take to make malls in America cool again?"

Here were some of those answers.


"I live in Los Angeles and see all those shops (except pretzel stands) as stand-alones. Our malls are getting more creative, like the Westfield near me has a Din-Tai-Fung restaurant, a fancy steakhouse, a Mexican restaurant, and a Dave and Busters in the same mall."

"They also have shops that sell anime related stuff and a shop that sells Asian snacks. They also have all the standard mall businesses as well, so they're always busy"-Upnorth4

Now We Can Just Shop Online

"Make them gathering places for activities and events that can't be done online. Small concerts, community theater, escape room, bowling, video game hall, indoor climbing, social clubs, classrooms for independent teachers, etc"

"I would also love it if there was a place at the mall that would do personalized sizings. Like, I would pay $10 for a guy to tell me the exact dimensions I should look for when I purchase clothes online."-nowhereman136

Honestly Already The Point Of Malls

"The focus would have to shift away from selling products and make that a byproduct of the experience. What I mean is malls originally became popular because people love to shop and really love to window shop, so having all these choices of places to shop in one location turned them into a social event."

"So aside from shopping, people would hang out there. But the original reason they went there was to stop, window or otherwise."

"They would need to come up with other reasons for people to want to go there besides shopping. Make them social gatherings."

"I would personally put focus on the court yards with various attractions. I would start with two long mini-golf courses that run the length of the mall."

"Instead of compacting them in locations like we have now, just put them in a row so you start at one end of the mall and work your way to the other end."

"Depending on the size of the mall, you could put three of them side by side. Instead of having one large food court, have a few smaller ones."

"That would encourage people to move around through the mall. Things like that would force people to look at the stores throughout the mall. Hopefully attracting them back once the entertainment is done."

"Someone sees a store they think looks interesting and they want to go check it out when the game is over. Sprinkle in other attraction locations like we have now, just enhance them."

"I would also remove anchor stores and replace them with other entertainment locations. Make one augmented reality, one a bowling alley, one a trampoline park, and one an ice or roller rink."

"You would basically turn the mall into an entertainment complex with stores. People would go there for the experience and the entertainment and that high foot traffic would, in theory, drive people into the stores to spend money."-sebrebc

What we remember about the mall isn't necessarily the actual shopping itself, but all the hanging around with friends that we did in the meanwhile.

Christmas Capitalism

"I'm gonna sound insane but I enjoy going in department stores around Christmas time. Yeah people being in your way can suck but I like the Christmas displays and hearing the garbage pop covers of classic Christmas songs."

"And this is coming from someone who worked retail in college."

"I think it just reminds me of going to places like JC Penney and Sears with my parents when I was kid and getting excited about Christmas."-Thx4TheBoobs

More -Experiences-

"That's a great question! I love malls, grew up with 'em in the '80s, and I want to see them flourish again. My own ideas include:"

"Transfer ownership from the capital investment companies that own most malls to community non-profits that take a more local approach."

"Reposition malls as social gathering places for eating, concerts, festivals, and so forth."

"Add variety to the stores within malls. If it's all clothing shops, and you don't care about fashion, then you'll not be likely to go to a mall. But if there are lots of different kinds of stores, then more of the public has a reason to visit."

"Figure out what today's teens think is cool and pander to them a little bit, while also throwing a nod to their Millennial parents and their interests."

"A lot of the burden rests not on malls but on businesses themselves, who, in the age of e-commerce, need to reinvent themselves."

"I can imagine businesses finding some success by, for example, hosting Twitch viewing parties and selling merch from people's favorite streamers."

"But I don't know if that would be a viable business model, or just a short-term gimmick. I do think society needs more gathering places for people to come together...and malls are well-positioned to provide the space for it!"-Emu_on_the_Loose

Suburbia Is Out Of Style

"You'd have to redo the concept entirely. I picture it as creating a sort of mix-use space and mini-downtown in suburbia sort of atmosphere that a lot of outdoor malls have been doing."

"I think you would do that with low-cost condos that use on-site attractions as amenities. You'd have space to create a pool/gym area that would be part of a larger sports complex."

"Indoor fields aren't common in my area, and I think adding more could entice a lot of people. Even better if you have a 24/7 gym and fitness center with a pool. I'd also split up malls and create some green spaces with breezeways for when it rains."

"With your built in clientele you could attract a couple corner stores, some retail shops, restaurants and bars. I'd ditch the old food court and make room for smaller restaurants, focused on trying to get fast casual dining that's found in downtown areas more."

"You could almost certainly attract the right people with a remodel and new concept of what a mall is."-AltUniverse_1

Once Again Doing New Things

"I was going to say the opposite. The mall around me are becoming like, fun things to do at the mall, mall. One mall near me just took over an old two story Sears and made it half bowing alley and half arcade with a decent restaurant."

"Another mall near me is mostly those types of shops. The roller skating rink, the indoor go karts, the axe throwing place, also a bowling alley with a bar, and the movies with a mini arcade."

"The malls around me are becoming for entertainment purposes instead of shopping purposes."--AIRDRUMMER-

In a world where we can already get most of our shopping done online, malls are having to rethink.

Why Didnt We Evolve In 20 Years

"A complaint I have hears from business owners closing down their shops that were is malls is the rent is too high compared to the foot traffic and sales."

"As I understand malls often charge rent of a flat fee plus a percentage of sales. Which at first doesn't sound so bad. Sales are down but you pay less rent. BUT, there is also a minimum rent amount regardless sales. So your rent is high during good and bad sales months."

"The mall is supposed to get a guaranteed minimum income out of this, which I understand. The owner of the mall probably took out debt to build it or buy it, so they have payments to make."

"Back when malls actually got large amounts of foot traffic these rents were justified. But now malls aren't seeing that foot traffic, and stores are pulling out. And the malls really haven't reevaluated their sales model in the last 20+ years."

"So malls really need to reevaluate how they make money and how their leases are structured."

"Someone else suggested using the space for more community events or as convention centers. I think those are great ideas."

"With new leasing models and converting big open stores, like defunct Sears or Herbergers into convention spaces malls could be revitalized. Vendors shit towards things people would want to buy during a convention and everyone makes money."-TorturedChaos


"I don't think malls in their current state are salvageable. Some idea for something mall like:"

  1. "Mixed use - live eat shop type areas. They're already popping up all over the place. Just adjust one of them to have a central area for the 'mall section.'"
  2. "Focus on local - make the rent low enough where local businesses can set up shop. Then you have a selling point beyond hey look the same 10 dying chains like every mall currently has."
  3. "Make it an event hub - concerts in the park area, have some bars and restaurants around them, host in person events like board game nights, or trivia or what have you."
  4. "Stop trying to compete with online or Amazon. Focus on the experience and offer a sense of community instead."-randomacct7679

Really To Get More People On Board

"Turn them into an independently separated amusement park."

"Instead did just retail stores like some monument to capitalism malls could be arcades, mini putt, air soft course, laser gun course, axe throwing, restaurants, bars, clubs, pubs, coffee shops, marijuana shops, various workshops, Internet cafe, theater, library, etc. So not just places where you go to buy things but places you go to do things for entertainment."-IrrelevantPuppy

It's true that the malls of the 80s and 90s are probably dead for today's generation. And that's okay! The idea of the mall might be dead, but it fulfilled a very specific need we all have as humans.

Those people will be able to fulfill that need as well.

People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.