Saturday, June 12, 2010

Ghost malls

I had an interesting day on Thursday.

Thursday is our "city" day. It's the day our Younger Daughter has fiddle lessons in Spokane, so naturally we run around doing a multitude of errands as well. Last Thursday the kids were hungry after music, so we stopped at a grocery store where I bought them some deli food.

Upon leaving the parking lot, we noticed a Dollar Store with lots of "Going out of business" signs on the windows. A Dollar Store, going out of business in this economy? Go figure.

I keep a master list in my purse of preparedness items we need to stock up on, and the Dollar Store was on the list as one of my stops. So, even though I wasn't planning on stopping there that day, in we went.

We half expected the shelves to be stripped, but they weren't. I came out with handkerchiefs, leather and canvas garden gloves, petroleum jelly, a few cheap calculators (for schoolwork), etc., all for about 30% off. Nice haul.

As the clerk was tallying our purchases, I asked why on earth a Dollar Store (of all things) was going out of business. She said the chain had been bought out and the new owners chose to liquidate. Ah, that explained it.

As the girls and I got back in the car, we noticed that all the other store fronts along one arm of the L-shaped strip mall were vacant except the grocery store and the Dollar Store...and the Dollar Store was going out of business. The other arm of the L still had businesses.

Later, stopped at a red light, I noticed another long strip mall that had two businesses left - that was it. I wasn't counting, but I'm guessing there were six or seven other store fronts that were vacant.

It reminded me - eerily - of the Trend Research Institute's Gerald Celente's prediction that we were heading for an era of "ghost malls."

The government can bleat all it wants that the economy is "improving," but those of us living on the ground floor sure as hell haven't seen it.

In about six weeks I'll be taking my once-a-year jaunt into Portland, OR for a very large retail show. This will be my fifth year doing it. For the first three years, sales were superb. Last year sales were down 20%. We'll see what this year is like.


  1. Thank You for posting this!

    I LOVE your blog!!

    Common Cents

    ps. Link Exchange??

  2. In my area, there has been a glut of "mysterious fires" at shops that were already marginal when the great recession hit. Other stores, those that were long-estaablished, are going out of business or having retirement sales. These places had been doing well enough until the bottom fell out of the economy. With no new lessees to fill in, the storefronts are vacant and ripe for vandalism. Soon the property owners will be unable to make their commercial real estate mortgage payments. Although I'm not an economist, I can see that the worst is yet to come. The other shoe is poised to drop.

  3. Save the Canning JarsJune 13, 2010 at 7:25 AM

    In just the last month, we have seen stores going out of business in our town of 15,000 people. The only video/DVD rental store (which stayed very busy) closed, leaving our strip mall 75% empty. Our town is experiencing what you are describing!

    I GREATLY appreciated your posting of approximately 23 mostly secular voices warning us what is coming for our nation. America needs to wake up and prepare! I seriously gave my attention to this information (even researching who is Gerald Celente and Richard Russell)and then I sent this information out to family and friends.

    I find it interesting that the religious community is also discussing what they believe is coming for America. For example, a friend sent me a 6 DVD series called GET READY, which discusses water purification, alternative cooking/heating, grinding wheat, stockpiling food and supplies, economic crash, gold/silver, land/farming/gardening, nutrition to improve your health so you are not dependent on government health care, etc.

    And then I came across this interesting interview between Sid Roth and John Paul Jackson where Jackson predicts that a lot of malls will close and that some will change their purpose from retail sales to housing people. In this interview he also discusses hybrid seed crop failure in wheat and corn, food shortages resulting in armed guards riding food trucks to insure the food reaches its destination, and water becoming extremely expensive and scarce in some communities to the point where cities evacuate because of lack of water. He discusses nations going to war, resulting in increased oil prices for the U.S.

    Now some might argue that John Paul Jackson is a false prophet. I have objectively looked at many "prophets" and every one of them has a crowd of followers who yell "false". I had to laugh because they can't ALL be false.
    Amos 3:7 discusses how God does nothing that He does not first reveal it to His prophets. God is talking to SOMEBODY, so we need to decide who the "somebodies" are and listen. And when the secular and religious communities overlap and say the same thing...well, that really gets my attention.

    Thank you for identifying the problems unfolding in this day and hour AND for offering solutions. All of the information being shared on your blog (and your friend Enola Gay's blog) helps readers to GET WISDOM and make preparations. We appreciate both of you!

  4. It's the same here in Florida, only we have strip mall after strip mall that have NEVER had tenants. They're brand new, gorgeous retail shops that have stood empty since they were finished over a year ago. It's crazy.

    We even have whole plots of commercial property that's been cleared, utilities run, roads laid, etc., but the land itself is just growing weeds. Nobody ever built anything.

    The numbers from the government are so manipulated. At some point, more people are going to wake up to the fact that what they're seeing with their eyes is the truth and what they're hearing with their ears is the lie.

    God help us then.

  5. We have our share of going out of business sales as well in my agricultural community of 16,000. Hollywood Video to name one. Also, we have had some new businesses open up as well, a frozen yogurt shop in our college community. But I notice that our Fred Meyer doesn't seem to be as heavily stocked and prices are way up, $2.39-2.99 for one gallon of milk. It's almost cheaper to use non-fat dry milk. Even the sale prices are high. Our rapidly shrinking dollar is even more precious than ever in this era of uncertainty.

  6. It's true about Florida. There is one mall in the city near me that the I know from a friend that the military bought, and it stand vacant, though there's security all over it. Very eerie.

    The real question is who bought out the dollar stores and is now liquidating them and why?

  7. I closed my business 9 months ago because the profit(not a dirty word) was eaten up in taxes and rent increases, and more taxes.
    There are many business owners doing the same. We still have the ability to start over..but why should we?

    See Ya.

  8. Yep I see it here in the gateway to the West as well and we are not suppose to be as bad off as other States.

    Smaller stores going out of business, lots of sub-divisions cut out but nothing else (thats a plus IMO I was at the edge of being surrounded out at my farm).

    More on the way and our government still printing to pay the government employed while everyone else is out of work.