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SF Chronicle on Mall Design

The San Francisco Chronicle carried a brief op-ed on mall design. Particularly, the writer opines that too many carts and kiosks are cluttering mall common areas.

Thoughts?

In recent years, however, shopping malls have become less fun to visit. The problem is the proliferation of small vendors who hawk their wares from booths located in areas once dedicated only to pedestrian traffic.

Vendors stand out on the midway and try to thrust their wares upon you as you pass by. Visitors constantly are placed in the position of either rudely ignoring the faux-friendly overtures or interrupting their own conversations every minute or so to say "No, thank you" to some new body lotion, time-share brochure or Rosetta Stone language program.

Last night, while walking in a local mall, we heard a pitchman call out to a pair of young women, "How can I sell you something if you're going to walk so fast?"

Which is precisely the point. These days, everyone is walking faster in the malls. By trying to maximize their profit on every square inch of space, mall operators are driving away the very people they need to attract.

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