Our apologies for the hiatus in blog entries of late, the summer break is to be blamed though it has allowed us to further our reading via kindle, book, magazine, newspaper or other, so we hope to bring you some more readable insights over the months ahead.
One such is from Tales From The Mall by Scottish author Ewan Morrison. It is a mixture of fiction and true life stories from malls (or shopping centres if you prefer) with a history plotting the cyclical rise and fall in the popularity of malls in countries around the world. Being Scottish, Ewan focuses a lot of attention on the numerous Glasgow malls – e.g. did you know the self-proclaimed ‘Style Mile’ Buchanan Street is now the 7th largest retail avenue in the world?
There is no doubt that shopping centres have their benefits – free parking, a roof to shelter from the elements, variety of shops so close together etc… but the downsides are clear since they can be catastrophic to the community which used to be centred around the traditional high streets (see: numerous Scottish towns). Morrison addresses these points but also raises the issue that a number of developing countries are going down this route of commercial development and risking their own sense of culture in the process.
By way of example, I read this book on holiday in Marrakesh and whilst the souks and markets can be intimating at first, it is an experience that I’ll never forget and one which attracts thousands of tourists each week. I’m told that the nearby mall in the newer part of the city was no different to any in the UK yet a British couple we met went there to get their fix in a well-known pizza chain which saddened me slightly. Hopefully there is room for both the mall and traditional markets to co-exist in the future.
**Newsflash** – Just when you thought shopping centres had exhausted all types of promotion you get this…a Dunoon couple getting married in Greenock’s Oak Mall. Click for full story here.