Worst Mall EVER
Last weekend I discovered a sad truth: the Aiken Mall reeks of failure and abandonment. I walked into the mall expecting to find at least a minimal array of stores to shop in but, much to my dismay, I can count the stores in the mall on my hand. As if that wasn’t enough, there are only about ten other people walking around the mall, and the food court only boasts one restaurant.
The Aiken Mall contains a few department stores. These include Belk, Dillards, JCPenney, and Sears. But don’t think that these stores are comparable to their Augusta Mall counterparts. Instead of multiple levels and a wide range of clothes, the department stores at the Aiken Mall are small, crowded, and contain nothing worth buying.
Other than the department stores, the only name brand stores still in the Aiken Mall are Aeropostale, Bath and Body Works, and The Shoe Dept. When you walk into these stores, you will be greeted by the one employee unfortunate enough to work there. Although these workers are nice enough, it is obvious that they don’t want to be there.
You might think that a mall like this would have lower prices in their stores to encourage people to shop there. However, the prices are the same or higher than the stores in the Augusta Mall, making the trip to the Aiken Mall a complete waste of time.
So what happened to make this once decent mall a desolate wasteland? This poor excuse for a mall was not always so bad. In fact, the Aiken Mall used to have a Gap Outlet, a PacSun, and a Kirklands. However, these stores and many more have closed down in the past year. According to an article written by the Augusta Chronicle in May,the Aiken Mall has about 40 store vacancies.
Many people believe that one of the reasons that the Aiken Mall is so deserted is the competition that the restoring and expanding of the Augusta Mall brought. The Augusta Mall now contains many high-end stores that blow the stores of the Aiken Mall away. Even people who live closer to the Aiken Mall obviously find it more beneficial to make the drive to the Augusta Mall.
What is happening to the Aiken Mall might remind people of the older generation of what happened to the Regency Mall. The Regency Mall was the main mall of the CSRA until the Augusta Mall came in. The Augusta Mall brought in new stores that gave it the reputation of being higher class.
If the Aiken Mall wants to improve itself, it will take major work, time, and money. The Aiken Mall would have to bring in nice stores that the Augusta Mall doesn’t have, or possibly bigger versions of stores the Augusta Mall has. Either way the odds don’t look good for the Aiken Mall and unless you like empty buildings with awful stores, I wouldn’t recommend it.
* Picture from Augusta Chronicle