If you're trying to avoid shopping malls this holiday season, you're not alone. Mall properties locally and nationwide are dealing with changing consumer tastes. The Sacramento Business Journal's Digital Editor Sonya Sorich says redevelopment efforts are underway at several local malls.
"The middle class jobs that fueld the growth of malls have declined," says Sorich. "And middle class shoppers have changed their shopping habits. Instead of going to a traditional mall anchor store like Macy's or JCPenny, they're opting for chains such as Marshall's and TJ Maxx, which typically offer well-known brands at discount prices. That's one of the reasons we've seen some of those mall anchors close stores nationwide."
A new restaurant debuts today in downtown Sacramento. It's called Punch Bowl Social and it's in the area around Golden 1 Center. The first local site for the Denver-based chain will offer, not only food, but attractions like karaoke, foosball and bowling. Sorich says it's sort of like a nightclub.
"It's open to all ages until 10 p.m. and after that it becomes a 21 and older venue," says Sorich. "But those involved in the business say it has a different vibe than what you'd expect from a nightclub and it attracts a pretty diverse range of ages."
The business is opening with 200 employees.
A new business launched this week in Sacramento called Soulbelly. It's led by a recently laid-off journalist named Stephanie Buck who used to write for the digital media website Mashable and most recently wrote for a media startup based in San Francisco. Sorich says Buck's new business focuses on preserving people's memories of life experiences.
"Clients can hire her to interview their family members or themselves and they can choose to get either an article or a video of that interview, or a combination of the two," says Sorich. "This arrives amid what seems like a growing national obsession with ancestry and genealogy."
Sorich says the aging baby boomer population could also lead to a heightened focus on preserving oral histories and documenting family memories.