In case you haven't heard, shopping malls are on the decline.
We live in a world where you can buy virtually anything you might want from the comfort of your own home. And while we certainly appreciate a good online shopping binge, the truth of the matter is that all of these options are making the mall -- a place loved universally by preteens, grown ups and the cast of "Clueless" alike -- pretty obsolete.
Sure, shopping malls may not be as glorious as they were back in the 1980s (because really, what is?), but they still hold a very special place in all of our hearts. In fact, it's hard to imagine what life would be like without the massive, perhaps excessive, shopping havens.
Here are 12 reasons we can't ever imagine a world without malls.
1.They encourage family bonding.
Even families that get on each other's last nerve can agree that a little retail therapy does wonders.
2. They were the best after-school hang out.
For many people, malls served as a rite of passage. Getting dropped off with twenty bucks and free reign for a couple of hours was, for many, a first delicious taste of independence.
3. They are the original one-stop-shop.
Where else can you buy a flat screen TV, a new wardrobe and a delicious pretzel under one roof?
4. Two words: Piercing. Pagoda.
5. They provide employment.
Whether your career kept you in the fashion industry or not, plenty of us earned our first paychecks stocking the back room at a department store.
6. Just the smells alone are worth the trip.
Between lotions at Bath and Body Works, pretzels at Auntie Annes and fresh kicks at Foot Locker, a trip to the mall is as much a joy for the senses as it is for the shopping.
7. Hungry? No problem.
In addition to the ever faithful food court, which offers tons of affordable options, many malls now boast an array of dining options (including one of our guilty pleasures/personal favorites, The Cheesecake Factory).
8. They encourage self-expression.
Hot Topic and Spencers, anyone? The middle-schooler in us would do anything to get our hands on some jet-black eyeliner and some crude bumper stickers to hang in our lockers.
9. They are prime people-watching hot spots.
A range of stores = a range of different people. Sometimes the best times had in the mall involve a fountain soda, a prime seat for onlooking and your own expert commentary ("Heels? At the MALL?")
10. They provide relaxation.
Brookstone pillows, Brookstone recliners, Brookstone blankets. Brookstone.
11. Options, options, options.
Is Nordstrom is out of your size in those booties you've been eyeing all season? Lord & Taylor probably has a pair with your name on it (and let's be real, they're probably on sale).
12. They are weatherproof.
Nothing kills an outdoor shopping trip like a bit of inclement weather. For obvious reasons, that problem becomes irrelevant on a trip to the mall.