October 25, 2011

"New Tricks for Old Malls... Gun Ranges, Aquariums, Go-Carts."

The WSJ reports:
Jin Dong, the manager of a Mattress Giant store that shares a wall with the Arms Room, is one of the gun range's happy neighbors. "People do come in here with guns, and that's kind of weird. But they have brought a lot of traffic. It's way better than nothing," he said. "I'll tell you one thing, I don't have to worry about getting robbed, that's for sure."

32 comments:

gadfly said...

. . . and Tattoo Parlors.

rhhardin said...

I haven't been to a mall in over a decade, not counting the mall so-called that I suppose has grown around the daily grocery store, consisting entirely of stores opening and going out of business.

YoungHegelian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
YoungHegelian said...

One big problem with mall retail space is that was historically waay too expensive. It was controlled by chain stores because they could sign the lengthy leases that mall owners coveted.

With chain stores populating your mall it becomes impossible to effectively differentiate your mall from another by anything except proximity & targeted income level. One high mall will have pretty much the same stores as another high end mall. Every Container Store looks like every other.

Yet, even with a panoply of chain stores, there are still huge gaps in basic services offered. For example, try and find a decent pastry & coffee at a mall for a nosh. And, no, Starbucks does not have edible pastries.

Michael Haz said...

Jin Dong? Has he been an actor?

madAsHell said...

I recently visited Waikiki. There were at least two rifle ranges in the upscale mall on Kalakaua Avenue.

Fortunately, it's a lot cheaper to shoot on the main land.

edutcher said...

Since people haven't got as much money to spend, they need new ways to get them in.

Chuck66 said...

Dying malls are interesting. Sad also.

rhhardin, same here. Even thriving malls aren't places for guys to go to. How many Victoria Secrets, Bath Body Works and Gap does society need?

craig said...

I'm a patron of The Arms Room. It's an excellent indoor range, spacious and well-ventilated, with pleasant staff. On the outside, it looks no different than any other use of the space.

I am extremely pleased to see creative reuse of what would otherwise be yet another dead big-box location. It bugs me when the tax codes reward new construction and discourage reuse of existing locations.

Charlie Eklund said...

More guns, less crime episode 8472.

Kirk Parker said...

madAsHell,

A lot of those facilities in Hawaii are oriented toward Japanese tourists, aren't they?

Just goes to show how relative everything is--the last thing I'd spend time on in Hawaii, as a visitor from gun-friendly Washington state, is going to a shooting range. But for those coming from Japan, it's a regular Nirvana.

Kirk Parker said...

""

Oh come on, is nobody going to try to make a shooting-fish-in-a-barrel joke?

wv: haritab -- "habitat" in Japanese English.

Eric said...

Mall? What is mall?

Like rhhardin, I haven't been to a mall in awhile. I shop for groceries locally, but pretty much everything else gets bought online.

Bartender Cabbie said...

I thought I saw Jim Dong on the internet a few days ago. He was "at work" on a mattress but I did not know he was also in the business of selling them.

Tank said...

A great throw away line about not getting robbed. Don't tell nanny Bloomberg.

Shanna said...

I'll tell you one thing, I don't have to worry about getting robbed, that's for sure."

Heh.

I think a gun range would be cool at a mall. They tend to be kind of out of the way, otherwise. Although it really makes more sense to combine them with a bass pro/gander mountain kind of store than anything else.

madAsHell said...

A lot of those facilities in Hawaii are oriented toward Japanese tourists, aren't they?

There were men passing out handbills in front of the mall with the firing range.

My hair is mostly gray, and I keep it very, very short. I was swarmed by the handbill guys.

Oddly....I didn't think about, or notice the Japanese, but I'll bet you are correct.

Roman said...

"Last week, in responce to a Facebook question about my favorite Gun Magazine, my reply:" a 15 round magazine for my Ruger P95.

craig said...

Shanna said...

"Although it really makes more sense to combine them with a bass pro/gander mountain kind of store than anything else."

The range mentioned in the article is attached to a gun shop. (Although they don't sell camp stoves, camo, and beef jerky like Bass Pro does, so you can't meet all your survival needs in one stop.)

Darren Duvall said...

Our local mall is kind of becoming one giant Spencer's Gifts. That is not intended as a compliment. The kicker was when the tattoo and piercing parlour opened in the mall, shortly after the Waldenbooks closed.

I pretty much limit my mall visits to guerilla raids into the Sears tool department and Dillard's, I don't go into the mall proper unless I have to.

edwardroyce said...

"And, no, Starbucks does not have edible pastries. "

Starbucks doesn't have edible anything. I made the irrational mistake of buying a -turkey sandwich- at Starbucks a month or so ago. You would think I would get some turkey, cheese and some mustard between two slices of bread and that would be a sandwich.

Instead it turns out that the "sandwiches" are actually made in a central location and come pre-packaged. So when they advertise a "chipotle" turkey sandwich they aren't kidding. You can't have the turkey without the "chipotle". And my opinion of stale chipotle is frankly unpardonable.

Astonishing that you can get a fresher sandwich at 7-11 than at Starbucks.

edwardroyce said...

"(Although they don't sell camp stoves, camo, and beef jerky like Bass Pro does, so you can't meet all your survival needs in one stop.)"

I approve of more shops selling beef jerky. In fact I approve of more shops selling all kinds of jerky. Maybe Starbucks could get in the act because their sandwiches certainly have the texture and consistency of jerky but definitely without either the charm or the flavor.

Peter said...

Malls are dying everywhere because they are not time efficient. By the time you drive to the mall, walk to an entrance, find the store you want and buy something and make your way back out, it's a minimum of an hour.

And so, unless you actually want to hang around in the mall (which few do after reaching the age of 17 or so), they just take too much time.

Mall operators have tried to get around this by offering "shoppertainment," and by offering attractive terms to restaurants and cinemas, but it just doesn't appeal to all that many.

And so, the country is full of dead and dying malls. Of course, some have been razed. But, that's a dang big building to raze, and what do you do with it when it's gone?

So, the alternative to demolition is .. adaptive use. So, bring on the go-karts and firing ranges- whatever people will pay to do.

DirtCrashr said...

The Waikiki shooting ranges are for the Japanese tourists who are unable to own guns or shoot in their own country at any price.

Squid said...

Malls are dying everywhere because they are not time efficient. By the time you drive to the mall, walk to an entrance, find the store you want and buy something and make your way back out, it's a minimum of an hour.

If my mall is dying, why so I have such trouble finding a decent parking space?

I doubt malls up here in the tundra will ever fail. When it's the middle of February, and you've been putting up with ice and darkness for months, spending an extra hour at the mall is not a bad thing.

bobby said...

Malls are dying? Naw. I just got back from a local mall. (Well, the Mall of America, actually.)

Parking lots were almost full. New parking ramps going up. It has its own freeway exits and entrances, so it's easy and fast.

Hundreds of stores, and all of them INSIDE! (I know, it got up to almost 40 today, I'm being a wimp, but I'm just not ready for fall to start yet.)

Stopped in four different hobby stores looking for one hard-to-find item - found it. Hit the hat store for some felt sponges. Swapped out a broken 3/4"-drive socket for a new one at Sears. Got a cool new shaving brush. Had a Starbucks coffee. (No, no sandwich.) Picked up a capacitor for a crossover at RS. Lusted for stuff at Williams Sonoma.

Walked around for two hours with no coat.

Let me say that again:

Walked around for two hours with no coat.

Life is good.

Paul said...

We see old vacant Wall-marts here and yes, they would make vantastic gun ranges!

Yea.. Texas can always use another gun range!

Peter said...

Malls work when weather is too bad to be outside, up north that's the six months of winter, down here in Texas it's the eight months of summer. The old Big Town Mall in Mesquite, a suburb of Dallas is gone, it's now a big parking lot for Park 'n' Ride, the exhibition hall remains, there are many gun shows per year.The bad news is that there are few bargains left at the gun shows. The good news is that there is very little Nazi memoribalia there anymore.

The Victoria's Secrets serve a very useful function at the Mall. I sit down on the bench outside Victoria's and am only slightly worried while my wife puts me back in the poorhouse shopping everywhere else.

Sureshotsd said...

"The good news is that there is very little Nazi memoribalia there anymore.

The Victoria's Secrets serve a very useful function at the Mall."


It's not often you get to use "Nazi memorabilia" and "Victoria's Secret" in the same post!

Wayne Richards said...

Shureshotted:
You managed it in the same sentence. Good going!

Unknown said...

Some weirdness I remember from 1975... I visited a chain pharmacy in a small mall in Idaho Falls all those years ago, and I still remember the oddness of it-- on the right hand as I entered, the well-lit aisles of a perfectly unremarkable pharmacy. On the left, a glass case full of handguns for sale.

Weird!

Firehand said...

If they opened a range at one of the local malls, I'd be a lot more likely to go there.

Read something a while back by a guy who worked at a range in Hawaii. That range had a lot of different rental guns, including automatic weapons, and did a HUGE business with Japanese tourists. They even had people coming in on 'vacation packages'; their company in Japan would put it together so they could go to Hawaii, to this range, and spend a bloody fortune on rentals and ammo. They couldn't even touch a gun back home, so they came here and shot miles of electronic film while doing so.