Nov 17 2014

Fieldwork: Spotsylvania Mall

Published by at 8:41 am under Uncategorized

On Friday, November 14th, I got to Spotsylvania Mall around 11:00. The weather was nice, but it was also cold outside, so it was really the perfect day to be shopping inside. There is a giant parking lot for customers and employees to park in (that is if they choose to drive; the mall is accessible by public transportation as well) and trucks to drop off retail goods. Retail space took many forms inside the mall. Some businesses had actual stores, while others had kiosks or decorative displays in the middle of the floor. There weren’t a lot of customers, but I did notice a lot of mothers with young children and a few older women.

I first walked around a kiosk selling calendars in the middle of the mall. The selection was kind of small, but the man working there was proactive and asked if I needed help finding anything. I was the only customer walking around that display, presumably because kiosk salespeople have the reputation of being kind of pushy.

My next stop was PINK. The store was laid out in typical PINK style, with display cases in the middle of the floor and items on hangers around the perimeter. The only other customer was a young woman who was looking at tee-shirts. I would imagine that since the store caters to high school and college girls it doesn’t get particularly busy on a weekday morning, and the sales associates were taking advantage of this by using the quiet time to restock some displays. They didn’t seem to notice either one of us.

Finally, I stopped at the Coach store. They had a beautiful window display that drew me in, and as soon as I was inside, a sales associate started talking to me. She noticed me looking at a table of jewelry and asked if I was looking for anything in particular. I told her no but she started telling me more about the jewelry and explained that they had more online, too. Every time I walked past a display she felt the need to sell it to me – I thought she was very helpful, but it was also kind of overwhelming considering I was just looking.

I was definitely an outsider observing at the mall that day. It was my first time visiting and I definitely got a bit lost a couple times so I wouldn’t say I was particularly connected. Overall, however, it was a surprisingly nice space for Fredericksburg and a pretty good representation of the average shopping mall.


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