The mall was more than a collection of stores. It was a place to go. That may not seem like much, but as many of the classic stores we fondly remember are shut down due to competition from online retail, having that physical place to go and be is a comforting memory.
Kids in the 1980s, '90s, and 2000s had malls. Before they got to that age where they could drive themselves to wherever they wanted, everyone's parents could just drop them off at the mall. And walking around the mall was one of the best times a kid could have. These are the stores we goofed around in.
Spencer Gifts was the place in the mall for kids to see dirty T-shirts and greeting cards.1,02767Return trip?
KB Toys, and sometimes Kay Bee toys, was the place to run wild in the mall. Not as big as Toys "R" Us, KB made up for it with manic energy.728148Return trip?
Toys "R" Us was the ultimate toy store. It had mall locations and giant, stand-alone warehouses filled to the brim with bikes, video games, dolls, action figures, and any other toy imaginable. It has gone defunt and sprung up in different iterations, but still struggles to compete with online retail.684145Return trip?
Borders bookstore and Barnes & Noble dominated shopping center parking lots and mall adjacent complexes for more than a decade. They offered a place to hang out with friends, sip coffee, read, and find the latest bestseller.
They also put small, local bookstores out of business. But by 2011, they would meet the same fate, thanks in large part to Amazon.651177Return trip?