20 things you never see in malls anymore

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avril lavigne mall tour 2004 Jason Nelson/Getty Images Many features that were once common in shopping malls have become obsolete.

  • As shopping malls struggle to attract consumers, many have closed or converted to serve new uses.
  • Many features that were once common at malls have becoming increasingly rare.
  • These include playgrounds, arcades, and appearances and concerts from pop stars.

Malls once played a pivotal role in how we shopped and socialized. Many malls that would once be crowded on any given afternoon are now struggling to fill vacancies, with some being converted into residential or business centers.

As a result, malls have lost many of the distinctive stores and features we used to associate with them.

Here are some of the stores, features, and behaviors you no longer see in malls.

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Gymboree

Gymboree

After filing for bankruptcy in June, the children's clothing company closed over 25% of its stores.

Zany Brainy

Zany Brainy

While it filed for bankruptcy in 2001, the educational toy retailer's founder, David Schlessinger, now runs the discount company Five Below.

FAO Schwarz

FAO Schwarz

The toy company once known for its massive stores is now shifting to displays inside other retailers, like Macy's.

People smoking cigarettes

People smoking cigarettes

While smoking used to be allowed in public spaces, anti-smoking laws have made it less common over the past few decades.

RadioShack

RadioShack

Electronics stores like RadioShack have struggled to compete with online retailers in recent years. After filing for bankruptcy in March, RadioShack has closed more than 1,000 stores this year.

Spending all of your allowance

Spending all of your allowance

While many adolescents and teens used to head straight to the mall after receiving their allowance, e-commerce has made shopping malls a novelty rather than a staple.

Sports memorabilia stores

Sports memorabilia stores

Stores that sold autographed apparel and equipment from sports stars used to have a significant presence in shopping malls.

Sports Authority

Sports Authority

The sports apparel retailer filed for bankruptcy in 2016 and later closed all of its stores.

First jobs

First jobs

Back at the height of shopping malls' popularity, they were popular destinations for teenagers looking for their first jobs.

Arcades

Arcades

The rise of home video game consoles made most arcades obsolete.

Virgin Megastore

Virgin Megastore

CD sales have plummeted over the last decade, resulting in many big-box record stores closing. While it used to be a major player in the CD market, Virgin no longer operates its flagship stores in the United States.

Window shopping

Window shopping

Consumers used to indulge their fantasies of owning expensive clothing and electronics by looking at store displays, but social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat now serve the same general function.

Payless

Payless

The discount shoe chain struggled to adapt to a changing retail climate and filed for bankruptcy in April. It closed about 900 stores, bringing its store count to 3,500.

Fountains

Fountains

No trip to the mall as a kid was complete without throwing a penny into the fountain, but fountains are no longer as common as malls try to cut costs.

Waldenbooks

Waldenbooks

Bookstores like Borders and Waldenbooks used to be fixtures at shopping malls, but like many independent and chain bookstores, each has gone bankrupt.

Movies set in malls

Movies set in malls

Back when youth culture revolved around shopping and hanging out with friends in malls, movies targeted toward teens — like "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and "Mean Girls" — would often feature their characters spending time in malls.

True Religion

True Religion

As its signature jeans have become less fashionable, True Religion has struggled to retain market share. The company filed for bankruptcy in July and announced plans to close at least 27 stores.

Promotional appearances from pop stars

Promotional appearances from pop stars

Back when people bought CDs, pop stars like Britney Spears and Avril Lavigne would promote their new albums by touring malls, which would often be overwhelmed by young fans.

Sharper Image

Sharper Image

The electronics retailer used to have a large physical retail footprint before it declared bankruptcy in 2008. It now sells its merchandise through its website, catalog, and third-party retail partners.

Playgrounds

Playgrounds

When malls were a weekend destination for families, many of the shopping centers would have playgrounds so that kids wouldn't become restless after watching their parents run errands.

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