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The sneaky, smart reasons malls have no windows

·1 min

Decades ago, Americans embraced the traditional Main Street shopping experience, with small family-owned stores lining the streets. However, in 1956, the birth of the American mall revolutionized the retail industry. The concept involved large enclosed buildings purposely constructed without windows. This design aimed to maximize space for retailers and create a controlled environment that encouraged shoppers to spend more time and money inside. The pioneer of this mall design, Victor Gruen, focused on creating visually appealing interiors with fountains, skylights, plants, and music. The layout of malls also ensured that shoppers remained engaged with the stores, as everything faced inward. The lack of windows also reduced energy costs for mall developers. Despite the decline in enclosed malls in recent years, many shoppers, particularly Gen Z and Millennials, continue to visit and spend money in these windowless shopping centers. Mall retailing is evolving with the addition of entertainment options such as restaurants, movies, and indoor amusement centers.