Friday, October 16, 2009


The Site

RETAIL HISTORY was recently started as an attempt to share information on the local retail scene. Having been both inspired by my work on and by the people who run other blogs and websites about retail, this site will share news, insightful commentary, history, and occasionally subjects of a different nature to you the viewer.

This is not my first attempt at "blogging" although I am a bit of a late bloomer in those regards. I had started to develop a site for such purposes back in 2007 focused on the history of malls in my general area. That however was lost in the shuffle of everyday life, was neglected to be updated, and eventually taken down. I hope to keep this one going strong, not only as its own website, but as a companion to all the others out there.

What Led Me Here..

RETAIL HISTORY was all started out of the seemingly obvious personal interest in retail and shopping malls. I have been into retail for a long time, and like so many others who grew up in the 90's in the Northeast remember the now long gone chains such as Caldor, Bradlee's, Montgomery Ward, Jamesway, and so on. It is this interest that led me to, where I currently submit commentaries from viewers and update the site along with its co-founder Brian Florence.

It's not so much the business related standpoint of retail that drew me in, but more of the way things have evolved in the retail world regarding the way people shop, the opening and closing of stores that we all love and even sometimes hate, and the overall feeling that shopping is here to stay, whatever form it may take. Of course you can't have one without the other, so perhaps the business perspective plays a role in my interest after all. But even still, that part was never what drew me to this.

I'd have to say what piqued my interest was a trip to Buffalo, NY in 1995 to visit family friends. While there, we went by the mall near where our friends lived, and I piped up that I wanted to go. I had liked going to the mall even from a young age, not to shop, but just to take in the atmosphere. I still to this day usually just go to a mall to walk around and take everything in. But back to the story, my request to go to this mall was rejected, and the reason being was that it was closed. I asked if it was just closed for the day, and they replied that no, it was closed for good. I could not take that as an answer, so the whole way back to their house, I kept asking whyit was closed. No one really had to my memory, a definitive answer. I later found out as I grew older that the mall in question, the Seneca Mall in West Seneca, NY succumbed to it's much younger rivals, the McKinley Mall in nearby Hamburg and the Walden Galleria, the then and still now top mall in the Buffalo area, located in nearby Cheektowaga.

I didn't really think much more about any of it after that trip, until I started seeing the same occurances again near where I lived. First with the Dutchess Mall in Fishkill, NY and later with the South Hills Mall , both near Poughkeepsie. For awhile even my hometown's Hudson Valley Mall was struggling, though they pulled through.

So I decided to do research on malls in general, the decline of their popularity, and so on. That's what led me to in 2002. I have since become a part of the website in ways I could have never thought of previously. The website has received much media attention over the years, and has been featured in a 2007 documentary entitled "Malls "R" Us", about shopping malls and their impact on the world.

In 2005, I became a part of the Ames Fan Club message board community, and have since become one of the administrators for the message board.

All this, as well as submitting pictures to other blog related websites such as my personal favorite The Caldor Rainbow, headed by Nicholas DiMaio, as well as to the Ames Fan Club, headed up by Chis Fontaine, and of course, have continued to push the interest forward.

Other interests of mine that may be stumbled upon occasionally on this website include road travel, finding, collecting and consuming soda, photography, and offering insightful commentary on things I find interesting.

In Conclusion

I hope you all enjoy this website and what it has to offer. I will try to keep updates flowing regularly, but sometimes they may be few and far between due to work and other activities. Please check out all the links I have posted as they are all great sites and blogs, and definitely are a great way to learn more about what retail is all about.

Photography Policy and Disclaimer

I will be using my own photography, which may occasionally be accompanied by other photography found elsewhere, all which will be consented for and credited accordingly. I ask that if you want to use a photograph on this website that you please consent for and credit it accordingly wherever you post it as well. This goes for not only this site, but for, The Caldor Rainbow, Ames Fan Club, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, or wherever. And it not only goes for my photos, but for anyone's. Everyone should be credited for their own original work. They worked for it, it is their right.

In terms of taking pictures of retail sites and malls, etc, I have among others, been in the "just go ahead and take the picture" boat. Many shopping centers have a rule about taking photography. And although some properties do not post such rules and guidelines it is usually always frowned upon if you whip out a camera in a busy shopping mall. And usually if you ask, which is usually a good idea, you get told no anyway. So I myself just go ahead and snap away without asking. That is my personal choice. I'm discreet about it, but I don't tend to cave under pressure. After all, shopping centers are public spaces and regardless, it is our right to express ourselves through either voice or by photograph. You the viewer however, can use your own discretion. And if they use the "private property" excuse, feel free to tell them that it is "private property for public use". After all, shopping centers are public spaces and regardless, it is our right to express ourselves through either voice or by photograph. I myself have lost some pictures before due to my own run ins with mall security, but I have never submitted any equipment if they have asked, which you should not do either. What is yours is yours, and unless the police get involved, you don't have to comply if a security guard asks for your camera. As long as you don't draw too much attention to yourself, keep your eyes open, and be quick about it, you shouldn't run into any problems. It's all a hobby, and should be allowed to remain untampered with in my opinion. However, anything that happens to fall outside of the realms of the hobby in question should not be attempted. Anything illegal, such as trespassing, vandalism, etc is not condoned by this website nor its owners. We want you to be safe out there. This website has no responsibility for any consequences you the viewer may encounter if and when doing anything that is deemed inappropriate for the situation.

RETAIL HISTORY is not affiliated with any of the shopping malls, management companies and/or retail operations referenced to and shown on this website. Any corporate logos shown are the property of their respective owners. RETAIL HISTORY strives to provide accurate information , and any information that can be provided to add onto or to supplement exisiting information is welcomed by email and/or comment submission.


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