Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Main Street Curfew

Our Main Street, the Mall in Columbia, is going dark one hour earlier, according to this bit of news from the Sun.

The mall is shutting down at 9p Monday through Saturday and 6p on Sunday, providing yet more evidence for why we need a better focal point for nightlife downtown.

We know one teenager who won't be happy.

Financially troubled General Growth Properties told merchants at several of its malls Monday that it will cut from a half-hour to two hours off its daily operating times beginning in May. It follows mall companies Simon Property Group and Westfield, which previously announced they are closing malls earlier and opening later. Baltimore County's Security Square Mall also recently reduced its hours.

Retailers such as Barnes & Noble bookstores and Bloomingdale's are also cutting hours.

Industry experts said retailers and malls are looking for ways to respond to declines in customer traffic and sales resulting from the recession. The holiday season was the worst in at least 40 years, and research firm Retail Forward forecasts a grim outlook of flat to negative growth across most retail stores through most of this year.

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