Walking to the ends of a mall tells you a lot about its health. Past the glitz storefronts, the busy food court, down the hallways which are supposed to funnel people into the center of the mall, clues abound.  

The healthy ones usually have anchor stores at each end, the unhealthy ones no stores, entry ways closed off, the remaining stores pushed toward the mall center to make things look better than they are.

They keep the lights on at mall ends even in declining ones, but there is little other life. The food court way in the distance only casts shadows of diners, some storefronts still bare the names of the once aspiring owner, others are just blank closed doors. These areas often are the last stand for mall odds and ends like vending and amusement machines. The once mall entrance now blocked.

You still see a flash of color here and there, but warn floors and peeling ceiling paint are more the norm. There is uneasy quiet in these places, but if you listen hard enough you can still hear the clicks of the registers once there. Always the chance of rebirth. The money though, for now long gone…