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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Suburban mall is an endangered species

By Jim Mullen




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The clerks were standing around in the fancy lotion shop, pretending to look busy. No one was even inside looking. The only customer in the home electronics store appeared to be returning something. The shoe store had a few shoppers, but there was plenty of room to walk around without running into anyone.

The few people ambling around the uncrowded mall were not carrying shopping bags. They stopped at the kiosks in the main aisle and looked at the tie-dyed T-shirts and the calendars and the gold necklaces, but pretty much everyone who wanted a gold necklace already had one. The CD/DVD store looked pretty empty, too. The fancy card shop was deserted; the As Seen on TV store, empty.

It was 4 in the afternoon on a weekday. Most people were still at work except for teenage girls, who arrived in groups of three or four and disappeared into the movie theater. Maybe all these stores are packed the rest of the time, but while I was there, the mall was scarily empty. Maybe when the movies let out there is a rush.

But one little shop was booming while the others languished. It was the smallest store in the mall, and it had six clerks who were helping two customers apiece. It was the cellphone store, and you'd have thought it was giving away free bacon. I think one of the people in line was the manager of the fancy card shop.

The smallest store that's probably paying the least rent is raking in the most dollars. Each cellphone costs, what, $200? $400?

"But sometimes the phone is free. No wonder there's a line," you might say. Yes, if you commit to a monthly plan that will cost you, on the low end, $2,400 by the time you finish it in two years, the store will give you some kind of phone. Not the best phone, but a phone.

So the cellphone store "gives" you a $200 phone and you give it $2,400 or more. Wow, what a bargain!

OK, I'm going to say a stupid old-man thing. Here it comes: "My first car didn't cost $2,400." The one I'm driving now didn't cost much more. (I traded in my clunker for a beater.)

This "bargain" is killing the other stores in the mall. I wonder how much the average shopper spends at the gift and card shop? How much will those roving gangs of teens spend at the DVD store? Anything close to $2,400 over two years? And if you spend $100 a month on your phone plan, that's $100 a month that you're not spending on fancy lotions, new shoes or DVDs.

If only that were the end of it. Smartphones also let you check and compare prices among stores. It's called the "showroom effect."

Say you are shopping for a new TV. You go to the electronics store in the mall, find the model you like and scan the bar code into your smartphone. Then the phone will tell you where you can buy the TV cheaper. Places like Best Buy become the showrooms for Amazon.com and other online retailers that pay no rent for space in the mall.

The next time you wonder how an online store can offer free shipping, maybe it's because the online retailer is paying rent only on a cheap warehouse, not an expensive storefront.

As I was soaking up the frenzy at the phone store, I noticed a gaggle of teens streaming out of the multiplex, all of them phoning or texting as they passed me, the card shop, the DVD store and the lotion store on the way out to the parking lot. Taking a quick look around, I noticed that every single person in the place was on a phone.

People can send a birthday greeting card from their phone, they can listen to music on it, they can watch a movie, they can buy lotion cheaper online. How long can these other stores last?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Jim Mullen is the author of "It Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple Life" and "Baby's First Tattoo."


Previously:


Worthless heist: Only in the world fine arts
The debate debate
Looking for a shortcut to penury? Buy a car
The pros and cons of a chicken tattoo
Does saying 'no' make us bad grandparents?
Crying 'foul' over ballpark proposals
College loans and job-search groans
That buzzing you hear is the sound of time flying
Too much of anything can get annoying
Five billionth in line for the throne
WARNING! This article may cause drowsiness
The mail and email of the species
Jotting down the un-bucket list
Bees deliver stinging fashion critique
Have a tissue issue? Help is a phone call away
My guy's guys are better than your guy's guys
Divorce, Facebook style
Millionaires are a dime a dozen
What not to name the baby
Technology is a wonderful thing -- when it works
A bad case of the wedding bill blues
Of cupcakes, teenage moms and crazy nuptials
FOOD FIGHT!
Rolling Stoned
Caterwauling over death of books is premature
Ask your doctor if this column is right for you
Could shopping be any more inconvenient?
Thanks for the lack of memories
Help wanted: Teenage life coach with all the answers
Sorry, wrinkles are not legal proof of age
Dead mice tell no tales
GOING PAPERLESS -- PRICELESS!
Should bad behavior be rewarded?
The perplexing problems of the rich and famous
Do these glasses make my gut look big?
More expensive by the dozen
In one year and out the other
Thank heaven it's Black Friday
Planning for the long term ---- tomorrow
READING THIS WILL MAKE YOU THIN AND HAPPY!
The Seven Secrets of Success
It's tough living off the gridIt's tough living off the grid
How not to clean the houseIt's tough living off the grid The yellow badge of cowardice
Any way you slice it
Home sweet homeschooling
Don't Head for the Borders
Money ball
Golf and death go hand in hand
Tune in, turn off, unplug
The radar curtain
Is Steve Jobs clouding my privacy?
The gift of garbage
Johnny Intern, Ph.D.
Twenty-foot fences make good neighbors
You must remember this…
TV experts and real news
Hey caller, where's the fire?
My sad cushy life
Pacemaker, don't you mess around with me
Big Brother is skinny
Flight of the snowbirds
This HDTV needs child support
Dear Future: Where's the dome?
Not so elementary, my dear Watson
A vacation revolution
Your call is very unimportant to us
Life: There's no app for that
Bam! Practical kitchen magic
Poisoning myself
Ban Huck Finn in schools --- even the sanitized version!
$38,000 for traffic and weather updates
2011 Predictions: Nostradamus was a hack
2010: A year of annoying junk
Why do bad things happen to stupid people?
Moving on from movie theaters
Money never sleeps, but it does pass out
President Trump kept it classy
Stalking your college kid won't change a thing
Putting my life in ‘Jeopardy’
Mo' government, mo' problems
iLostIt
Dressed for excess
Expert tease
The mysteries of Jersey
‘You are a toilet, where am I?’
Don't we all cheat at the game of life?
What happens when I forget where Google is?
Don't let the doorman hit you on the way out
Picasso fiasco
Purple (hair) ‘Daze’
Let me hear your body talk
Working from work
Babies deserve clean restrooms, too
3-year-old bear-killers are a thing of the past
Money-making ideas on the fly
Collecting and hoarding
Chain of fools
Please come pick up your acting awards, ESPN commentators, you've earned them
You've been superpoked by the U.S. gov't
e-Readin', e-Writin' and e-Rithmatic
A pose by any other name
Warning: Column contains 2010 spoilers
‘He loves only gold, only gold’
Think about direction, wonder why …
Flushing your money down a diamond-studded toilet
More like ‘wack’ Friday
The good, the ad and the ugly
The desert of the real
Let books be large and in charge
I was insulting people way before the Internet
GPS drill sergeant: Left, right, left!
Butterfly in the sky, you make winds go twice as high
Music to my ears it's not
You don't light up my life
Fair or not: Country living is far from ‘Little House’
A parable for the ‘ages’
Top 100 Cable news stories of the century
Green dumb
A developing story
Thinking outside the lunch box
What's good for the goose is good for the scanner
Newspapers will survive, but network TV?
A really big show of generation gaps
When pigs flu
The reports of our decline have been greatly exaggerated
Mergers and admonitions
Invest in gold: little, yellow, different
Stuck in Folsom Penthouse
Collecting karma
Setting loose the creative ‘juice’
It's all in the numbers
You're damaging your brain with practical skills
The real rat pack
The unspeakable luxury of the Park-O-Matic
Gross-ery shopping



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