There’s Retail Life Out There, But Not Much

You can’t tell it from this photo, but Valley View Mall is open. Most stores aren’t, however.

Since it was raining and chilly around “walk time,” I thought I’d go over to Valley View Mall, Roanoke’s biggest and a popular place for old farts like me to walk on dingy days. I found pretty much what I expected after going online and discovering the mall is open.

You can’t close a cookie store. It would be heresy.

It was nearly empty. Probably 80 percent of the businesses were closed at 1:30 p.m. and those that were open primarily dealt with food, nutrition, sports shoes or clothes, a book store, a couple of kiosks and a salon that weaves your eyebrows. OK, no I don’t know what that’s about, but a woman was sitting in a chair reading, awaiting customers.

I suspect this scene is typical for all the malls in the Valley, though the outside buildings seemed a little busier. A little.

And we’re nowhere near the vacancies we will see in a couple of weeks.

Barnes & Noble was open, but I didn’t see anybody buying books. Not a soul.

Here it is in all its emptiness.

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