Mar 14 2010
Who: Agent Charles
Where: Spotsy Mall
Weather: 50 ish degrees, overcast
When: Thursday March 11, 2010
My car arrived at the mall around 9:40am and immediately ran into Prof. Moon inside. When she mentioned Chick-Fil-A our ears perked up and we rushed to get some Chicken Minis. The food was surprisingly delicious after this week’s Fast Food Nation. While we ate I watched people ordering food. None of them were mall walkers, and instead seemed to be simply waiting around for the stores to be open, maybe some of them were store employees themselves.
The store’s demographic was interesting. There were the 9 or so of us sitting and taking notes on our surroundings, and then there were mostly middle-aged men and women in the store, with a few young adults around 20. Almost all of the over 60 crowd were either walking around the mall or eating at the Wendy’s across the hall. Because kids were in school, this was an interesting change of pace from when I’m usually at malls on weekends. There weren’t any large groups of kids making noise or loitering. Instead, everyone seemed to have a purpose, even if that purpose was social.
It seemed to me that most of the people at the mall early in the morning were there to see other people. The older crowd at Wendy’s was there to see each other, mall walkers tended to walk in twos or threes. Because there weren’t many stores open, this seemed to be the obvious reason to be under the roof of the mall.
The only stores that were open when we got there were Wendy’s, Chick-Fil-A and Starbucks. Starbucks was interesting, too, because inside were my classmates and a few elderly folks. Because of the location of the store (inside a mall) there weren’t any businessmen in suits or people just trying to grab some caffeine on their way to class or work. Instead the crowd looked to be men retired from work and nothing to do but read the paper and sip on coffee. Maybe their wives were mall walking or waiting for stores to open, but there weren’t any women when I poked my head in.
There were a lot of toddlers with their moms, which nicely fits the stereotype of men working at a paying job while women work to run a house and feed kids. The kids that I saw were quietly in strollers while their moms browsed the racks of the few stores that were open. Interestingly, most of the stores that were open were stores that had products geared towards families. Abercrombie wasn’t open, but Belk was. There was also a kid’s clothing store that actually had two sales clerks inside. They must get a lot of early morning traffic from moms who need to shop while their kids are at school.
All in all, it was definitely an interesting experience to be at the mall at 10am. The demographic was different from what I usually observe, which made it to be a completely different experience.
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