As someone who lives and shops mostly in Auburn I find this a topic of interest, The Auburn Mall. Whenever I walk through it, it's rarely busy except during the holiday shopping period so why the stagnancy? 

First of all, the Auburn Mall isn't alone when it comes to empty storefronts, malls across America are trying to find tenants, keep them and grow. After reading this article it gives me a better perspective on why it is the way it is and what is happening in this retail era.

First issue, teens were always a mall's largest draw, and now families aren't as big as they once were, meaning fewer teens are around. Quite honestly I think too, teens have found new ways to have a social life other than a hanging out at the mall.

Some of what the owner is saying in my opinion is spin, when he talks about occupancy when he says there is 85% occupancy when it comes to square footage with TD and JC Penney, but I think most shoppers don't see it that way, they see it as storefront after storefront being dark.

Retailers nationally are somewhat reluctant to rent mall space as there is a slow decline in store to store shopping, however, trends and fads can change on a dime.

Now for the positives, there are a couple of possible stores moving into the Auburn Mall and the area surrounding the mall is doing very well. The owner of the mall and much of the property around the mall is trying to entice Ikea and an Apple Store. I would love Ikea to come to the city. I so remember their ball room where we as kids would dive into a pool of light weight ping pong balls.

I tend to think part of the issue locally is, Augusta and South Portland are both close and with Augusta's Marketplace and the Maine Mall area, they are just bigger draws for dropping big money when shopping like say for the Back to School or Christmas season.

Now it's time for the "pie in the sky", or "I can fix the mall" opinion part of this post. I think a food court would help the Auburn Mall tremendously. Aeropostale would also be a great addition, a pharmacy or convenience store type retailer and a souvenir or Gold Crown Hallmark store would be a great place to start in getting the mall going in the right direction. I see loads of potential for the mall and would love to see it be at 100% capacity.


More From 92 Moose