Greetings and welcome to blog #83. Yesterday, I visited the King of Prussia Mall here in Philadelphia. It is humungous! Massive! Gargantuan! In terms of leasable space, it is the largest mall in America. Thank you Wikipedia!
I’m off to New York City for a couple of days in the morning, and I’m sure I’ll have lots to share with you from that trip. So, before I head to the Big Apple, come stroll with me through the King of Prussia Mall…
There are lots of great signs around the mall. This one welcomes you into the Plaza area of the Mall. There’s also a Court area of the mall, which was added nearly 20 years later.
Nearly all the big department stores are here including Macy’s, Nordstroms, Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, Sears and JCPenney.
Ok so we’ve finally made it inside! With 2.8million square feet of retail space, you could get seriously fit walking from one end of this mall to the other.
So what did we see in here?
Come walk with me and we’ll see….
Well, Naomi Watts is now the face of Ann Taylor. A development the Huffington Post had some interesting things to say about.
You simply cannot miss her – she’s everywhere, 2 stories high.
I also saw some interesting retail opportunities, such as an animal print iPad case and colourful gum boots – a visual delight if not a virtual necessity:
The magazine section in Borders was a monument to our collective inability to grasp that the world’s forests are dying faster than we can say “subscription”.
In between Fashion and Craft was another interesting magazine category that I hadn’t seen before:
The Directory gives you a sense of the size and scale of this place. Strong spatial acuity and good depth perception are handy skills to have when attempting to work out where you are in relation to where you want to go:
Jill The Store!
And there’s a store devoted to me! Howzat?!
Although nothing can replace the real living breathing version, right? (although I now share some things in common with j.jill the store – we both take Visa for one).
So what did I learn from all this? Ah, I was hoping you wouldn’t ask me that. I had a massage today and my brain appears to be turning into the substance the masseur rubbed on my back. Ok, ok, here’s a stab at some learnings, from the King of Prussia Mall experience yesterday.
- if you can’t afford a gym membership or its unsafe to walk in your area, and you live within driving distance of the King of Prussia Mall – it’s a good alternative for regular exercise. One trip around this mall and not only have you tightened your glutes but you’ve obliterated several hours of your day
- yes, the “Mall Maker’s” presence can be felt in every temperature-controlled, spatially manipulated, light reduced centimetre of the Mall. Even if you don’t know much about the impact of Victor Gruen on our modern day shopping experiences, you still probably know what I’m talking about. It could be midday or midnight and you’d never know it. A blizzard or fire could be consuming the city and you’d never know it. What you will know is that your credit card is heavier and your bags are bigger — but that won’t dawn on you until you’ve reached the car park
- shopping is a remarkably slippery beast. It creeps up on you, it lays in wait, it draws you in. As we were going up yet one more escalator in Macys, my friend said “shopping makes me feel good”. It used to make me feel good, too. But now, 10 months into this challenge, my feelings about shopping are much less straightforward. I’m aware now of something that I wasn’t before. I’ve tuned in and woken up to how insidious shopping can be for some of us. And I just can’t lie down and go back to sleep. As tempting as an subcutaneous injection of Jones New York might be.
- I understand why some women loathe shopping. How overwhelming the experience can be. How it assaults the senses. How it bewilders with seemingly endless choices. How it promises so much but can’t be held responsible if it doesn’t deliver (worse than a teenager in a hormone surge on Red Bull). Standing in the middle of the second floor of Macy’s, in a sea of clothing racks as far as the eye could see in either direction, I thought “if you were a woman who didn’t know what colours complemented you, what styles supported and accentuated your body shape, and what personality pieces made you feel great and expressed something about your unique self – you’d be stuffed. Where would you possibly start in here?” I think this situation is what the word “crap shoot” was invented to describe
So that’s it sports fans. They’re my late Wednesday night take-aways from my trip to the King of Prussia Mall here in Philadelphia. Where I’ve learned that it isn’t always sunny. Although it is very beautiful this time of year as my final picture, taken nowhere near the King of Prussia Mall, demonstrates. Ah, just as delightful as a shoe sale at DSW Shoes. Right?