Nov 14 2014
My friend and I visited the Spotsylvania Towne Center on Friday November 14th around 11:20am. We walked around the mall for about 25 minutes. It was sunny, but about 40 degrees so it was chilly. Similar to Wal-Mart, I do not think that the weather had a huge affect on the amount of people that visited because all the stores were indoors (unlike the Downtown retail space). The type of transportation that consumers use to get to the mall would be their cars, or public transportation like The Fred. Transportation for employees would also be the same, their cars or public transportation. Although I did not see any, retail goods would be delivered to the mall by delivery trucks, similar to Wal-Mart.
This retail space is made up of multiple chain retail stores. It is a big space that consists of clothing stores, fast food restaurants, kiosks, and many more. While visiting the mall there were many different types of people. I saw many older couples, mothers with children, and young adults. I assume that since I visited during normal work hours that there were less middle-aged parents. However, since it is getting close to the holidays I also think that many of these people were (possibly) Christmas shopping. There were also people who were just “people watching” on the benches or collecting donations at the entrance of the mall.
The first store that I went into was Belk. I actually entered in through that entrance instead of the main entrance. This store reminded me of a Macy’s, JC Penny’s or even a larger version of Kohl’s. It sold clothing for men, women, and children along with shoes, accessories, make- up and jewelry. The employees of this store were mostly middle-aged women. They were extremely friendly and personable. The second store that I visited was Footlocker. This store sold all different brands of athletic sneakers, socks and even some clothing. The employees of this store were young adults possibly in their 20’s. They were all dressed in athletic wear and similar to the employees in Belk they were very friendly and asked if we needed any assistance as soon as we walked in. The third store that I went into was New York and Company. I was not very familiar with this store at first but after walking through I observed that they sold clothing that was similar to business attire. They also sold some shoes, accessories and jewelry along with other casual clothing items. I only saw one, woman employee working the register and did not see any working the floor.
One of the most important observations that I made when I first walked into the mall was the amount of Christmas or holiday decorations that filled all parts of the mall. The hallways of the mall along with the individual stores had garland hanging up along with red bows, ribbons and lights. There were also many advertisements for Christmas sales in multiple stores that I walked by. The windows of the stores had huge red posters that said “SALE” or “Buy 2 get one free.” I saw this to be common in a lot of the retail stores. Besides the different individual retail stores and fast food restaurants there were also kiosk stands throughout the mall selling anything from shoes to scarves to jewelry to cell phones. I think a person could find almost anything in the mall, in terms of clothing. The clothing merchandise ranges from outerwear to formal attire to clothes for infants. There are also various toy stores and electronic stores that are popular around the holidays.
My connection with this retail space is that it contains so many chain stores that are common no matter what area you are from. Even in terms of fast food, this retail space contains stores that are so familiar to Americans. Although I do not visit this space a lot, I think that the variety of stores that it has makes it very convenient for someone to find what they are looking for. I think one of the main reasons why I don’t visit the mall that much is because it can be very crowded and the traffic can often be heavy around that area. One disconnection that I noticed when I was visiting was that some of the stores I had never heard of or was not familiar with. For example, Belk, is one store that I am somewhat familiar with since coming to school in Virginia. Belk’s slogan is “Modern Southern Style,” so it is a store that I had not heard of since I am from New York. Although I did not notice anything unusual, I did walk by the area of the mall that was set up for pictures with Santa. This is something that I would not have seen if I had come to the mall weeks earlier. I also noticed that there was a stage set up near the food court where a radio station looked like they were setting up with a mascot. Overall, I think that the time of year that you go to the mall has an influence on the types of people and the selling patterns of the different stores. As the holiday season approaches, there will be more and more people going to the mall and there will also be many advertisements for sales. Compared to Wal-Mart and Downtown Fredericksburg, I think that this is most similar to Wal-Mart in that it attracts all types of people and is meant to be an efficient experience instead of the casual atmosphere that the outdoor downtown space portrays.
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