Malls closing nationwide, Richland Mall continues to see traffic

Posted at 6:50 PM, Nov 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-20 20:22:46-05

Business Insider reports malls across the U.S. are hurting after nearly 7,000 stores closed in 2017.

Foot traffic at malls has been declining over the years as people choose to buy online, but many shoppers at the Richland Mall still prefer to check items off their list in person.

Terry Dugger stops by the Richland Mall every Friday. She and her friend stop by weekly to walk around, eat at the food court and do a little spending.

"I love the mall. I love the atmosphere. I love the decorations. I like seeing the people walk around," Dugger said. "I just like it so much better than just an individual store!"

The Richland Mall has continued to maintain steady foot traffic, even before the busiest shopping day of the year. 

Allison Peace and her two children started shopping for stocking stuffers on Tuesday. She said they'll be back out again bright and early Friday morning.

Richland Mall management said they see around 25,000 visitors each weekend. They expect that number to grow to 45,000 following Thanksgiving.

"That's our favorite thing do at Thanksgiving dinner is get the ads and just circle everything we want," Peace said. "It's a tradition in our family to do that. Always into the Black Friday shopping, the hustle and bustle."

Tommy Oliphant lives in Corsicana. He prefers to do his shopping at the Richland Mall whenever he visits Waco.

"I like to come to the mall," Oliphant said. "I like to see the people!"

A 2017 report from Credit Suisse said 20 to 25 percent of malls will close over the next couple of years, mainly due to store closures.

Richland Mall management said they are 98 percent leased and plan on bringing in more stores for their faithful shoppers.

"Everyone loves that instant gratification of touching and feeling your things when you buy them in person," Peace said.

The Richland Mall will open at 6 a.m. for Black Friday and close at 10 p.m.

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