Welcome to Retail History!

Retail historians, Peter Blackbird and Brian Florence decided to take Pete's hobby and make it visible to the Internet.

Fascinated by the ever-changing face of retail, Pete has researched and learned as much as he could about the many facets of the retail industry. Having himself worked for Hills department stores during their transition into Ames, along with Brian who worked at a Caldor, as well as other various retail-oriented contacts, they find themselves captivated by the current trends in the retail industry, and have seen first-hand the demise of many of these great giants of retail. Having had a hand in retail working, the two continue to devote their time to tracking the cause and effect of the dead mall phenomenon and preserving the memory of these shopping centers for years to come.

Thanks to the power of the internet, we have been able to compile information from people all over the web, contributing invaluable information to our cause! is an endeavor designed to promote the history of the malls as well as their nature, whether thriving or declining, and the impact of time and competition on these establishments.

To Send Information and Submissions:
Use the Comment and Submission Form.

Snail Mail:
c/o Brian Florence
PO Box 2787
Glens Falls, NY 12801

(908) 98-MALLS
(That's 908-986-2557)

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Brian Florence

I started with my friend Pete Blackbird in 2000 when we both realized that Pete had mountains of data about dead and dying malls stuck up in his head. Why keep this information to yourself? And, realizing the burgeoning power of the internet and its ability to draw in more information, the site was created to harness stories of woe and merriment from others. Its been a great success, and very interesting to maintain and keep this site going.

Lee Eisenberg describes me as "a personable chap named Brian Florence, who's in his early thirties, works for an insurance company, and lives in Glens Falls, New York. <snip> Tech savvy (he also maintains a site called dedicated to ferreting out and selling rare or defunct bottled soda), Florence launched as a favor to a buddy whose idea of a compelling weekend is to drive hundreds of miles to take the pulse of an endangered mall."    (see the press page for the article entitled What's in Store for the Suburban Mall?)

Learn more about me here:

Peter Blackbird

Ever since Peter Blackbird saw how a shopping mall he had visited at the age of eleven had turned into a "ghost town" two years later, he started to visit malls and thus charted "history of retail" on the basis of the stories he gathered. Determined to ensure that 'dead malls' merited a page in history; Blackbird turned to his friend Brian Florence to bring to life in 2000.

Jack Thomas

Having always been interested in retail from a young age, primarily from a visual and memory based aspect, the concept of a mall closing up forever took me by surprise. It fascinated me that a place so popular could just close up with little fanfare. The interest was expanded when I started to witness the failure of two malls in the area which I grew up. Setting out into the vast world of the internet back in 2001 to discover more information about this phenomenon, I stumbled upon, and the rest is history.

The website was still relatively young back then, but after numerous contributions from viewers like you and a spotlight in the media world, has transformed into the website you see before you. I am happy to be a part of the team to get this information out to you, the viewer and hope that your memories are sparked by what you read as you puruse through these pages.

As of November 16, 2019, Jack has left to pursue an ever-expanding career in Retail History that lies just over the horizon. We wish him well!

Ever-growing list of Contributors:

Top Level Contributors

Joseph Aglione
Kent Ahrens
Ken Allan
Zack Bennett
Lewis Bozard
Nick Brim
Matt Burwick
Ernesto Cano
George R. Carlisle
Chris Carter
John Clarke
Kevin Clarke
Stephen Craane
Bridgitte DeMoss
KC Dierkes
Nick DiMaio
(see The Caldor Rainbow Blog)
Liz Donaway
John Donovan
Jeremy Durst
Chris Edwards
Tim Gallagher
Kevin Gaskill
Adam Godfrey
Brandon Gorte
Steve Hammond
Jason Hancock
Erica Hayes
Ian Hinsdale
Daniel Hull
Blake Hutchinson
Jason Ilyes
Wendy Jaklitsch
Matthew Kessenich
David Kruger
Rich Kummerlowe (see
Spence Lean
James Legg
Patrick Lessard
Joe Liberto
Jarrod Long
Theodore Mallison
Nate Mayfield
Bobby Peacock
Jon Revelle (see JonRev Projects)
Josh Riggs
John Robertson
Anita Rose
Trent Rose
Ross Schendel
Kyle Snyder
Kevin Warren
Toby Weiss (see his personal site)
Chris Whittaker

Internet Contributors

Matt Abhold, Arthur C. Adams, Michael Airhart, Bruce Allen, Jim Anthony, Nick Archer, Jeff Arellano, Erica Ashley, Bryan Ashmus, Alan Attebery, JT August, Harris Austin, David Avery, Tom Baddley, Brad Barris, John Barker, Randy Barton, Mike Batchelor, Michael Bates, Brian Baxter, Jay Belfiore, Steven Bennett, Brad Berry, Keith Black, L Boyer, Joe Blurton, Robert Bradford, Mary Brady, Christopher Branski, Justin Brickner, Kevin Brown, JJ Buechenr, Mark Burchardt Josh Burnham, Chuck Burke, Jack Burton, Andrew Button, Chris Callac, Andy Callahan, Debbi Carlin, Marv Carlson, Adam Caracci, Amy Carlin, Jason Carmichael, Judy Carr, Steve Carras, Brett Castleberry, Joe Carter, Martin Claggett, Brian Clark, Carl Clark, Recco Clark, Matthew Cody, J. Colaizzi, Stephen Colbert, Tim Colby, Kyle Connell, Nona Copeland, Edward Corser, Matt Cosgro, Luke Craggs, Dennis Creech, Steve Crow, Michael Czaczkes, Peter Crane, Zak Craft, Evans Criswell, Dave Cummings, Matthew Currie, Phillip Dampier, Daniel Darnell, Sandra Davis, Jason Damas, Sam Dawes, Alton DeGeorge, Rick De La Cuesta, Roger Demarco, Jim Denny, Emilio Diaz, Meredith Dixon, Michael Dixon, Pete Dudley, Daron Dunkin, DieselDucy, Scott Eddy, Jason Eden, Patrick Ehland, Edward Egolf, Brenda Eisenbeisz, Judy Elgin, Grady Ellis, Jim Ellwanger, John Espiau, Harry Esenwine, R. Evams, Derek Ewing, Dan Faltesek, Mara Farrell, Greg Feil, Michael Fielgel, Peter Fleszar, David Foley, Danny Fontana, James Fowler, Dave Frania, Michelle Fulton, Lisa Funderburg, Robert Gaul, Melissa N Garrett, Diego Garcia III, Joey Gill, Mitch Glaser, Brandon Gorte, Brian Goslow, Carol Gliksman, Carol Goloff, C.M. Gonzalez, Jason Good, Paul Gould, Matthew Graczyk, Sam Graham, Russ Grasso, Liam Gray, John Grdovich, Scott Greer, Karen Ann Grienbrier, Tim Grintz, Heath Gross, Timothy Gulics, Mateo Gutierrez, John Hally, Steven Hammond, JeanneE Hand-Boniakowski, Jim Hanson, Mark Hamilton, Simon Hamilton, Chris Hannsen, Tim Harbaugh, Jackson Harris, Bruce Heddy, Jonathan Heid, Brian Heiler, Jonathan Helmers, Matthew R. Hicks, John Holik, Lee Hollifield, Robert Holloway, Carson Horton, Eric Hopp, Anita Hull, Raymie Humbert, Herbert M Hunter, Eric Hurst, Ash Hussain, Neal Hyde, Richard Hyde, Joshua Israel, Asher Jackson, Jesse James, Kathy Jefferson, Giselle Jenkins, Cathy Jones, Hank Jones, Mark Jones, Roger Jones, James Kaplan, Avian Keahi, Brian Kelly, Mike Kesselstein, J.P. Kirby, Kabuki Kitsune, Ben Kizer, Mike Koller, George Koppe, Mike Kotler, Chelsey Kovar, Terry Knab, David Kruger, Oliver Kruetzmann, James L., Melissa Lafleur, Michael LaMastra, Stephen Leach, Justin Lee, Josh Levin, Maury Levine, Gary Lewis, Michelle Liggitt, Ken Lilly, Mindy London, Charlie Lontz, John Lowe, Jeff Lowry, Jordan Lund, Brian Lutz, W.L. Mynk, Son H Mai, Jill Hoffmann Mach, Eric Mackey, Brandon Magaha, Kevin Magurany, C. Martin, Paul McAleer, David McCleran, Don McHoull, Robert McNeill, David McGrann, Steve McIntosh, Chris Melton, Greg Meyer, Asher Miller, Jim Ming, Mike Massey, Nate Mayfield, Scott Mercer, Railyn Mest, Nancy Metcalf, Kristen Miller, Victor Moldovan, Mark Moore, Stephen Moreland, Mike Morrison, Andrew Morse, Jennifer Mundy, Mike Mustard, Melanie Nazelrod, Fr‚d‚ric Neault, Gary Nelson, Jeremy Nelson, Jerry Nelson, Erica Nevin, Sidney New, Dale Newby, Dewayne Nickels, Dennis Nolan, Jonah Norason, Zack Norton, Joshua O'Connell, Daniel Oines, Kevin Olmstead, Andrew Pakula, Phillip Palmatier, Chris Palmer, Zachary Palmer, James Paresi, Guy Parsons, Benjamin Paul, Bobby Peacock, Daniel Peck, Matt Peitzman, Gabriel Pellegrino, John Perez, Janet Perkins, Bud Perry, Debra Perry, Zach Peterson, James Pierce, Sandra Popescu, Brett Powers, Justin Priola, Bryan Pizzuti, Jeff Postelwait, Jason Pozar, Mike Prymula, Karen Puente, Tim Putman, Megan Quinn, Toby Radloff, Jenny Rahija, Dan Reigada, Scott Reed, Jaime Reppert, Tony Richards, Steven Roberts, Frank Rabalais, Erica Renihan, Steven Resch, Dan Reigada, M. Sean Rizzo, Chris Robbins, Brian Robinson, Andy S Rodriguez, Tamara Rose, Kristin Rose, Barry Rosenbaum, Dan Rosenbluth, Jonathan Rushnak, Stephen Rybak, Nathan Rye, Andrew Sabak, Mike Samons, Andrew San Juan, Robert Sandreth, Miguel Santos, Jim Sawhill, Rick Schilling, Kim Schinkel, Paul Schleck, Sam Scholten, Jeffery Scism, Gregory Sebben, Shane Shaffer, Mark Shannon, WR Sharp, Cody Shawver, Aaron Sica, Bryant Smith, Jeremy Smith, Lee Snapp, Laura Shelton, Russ Sheppard, Jeremy Smallwood, Nathan E Smith, Stephen Stofka, Scott Stambaugh, Michael Stanhope, Kyle Stanley, Parker Stanton, Greg Steinmayer, Richard Sterben, Brian Stevens, Doug Stewart, Benton & Zach Stokes, Joan Stone, Chip Strahl, Justin Streiner, Edward Stroger, Matthew Strong, David Stybr, Nich Summit, Steven Swain, Pete Szerszen, Matthew Terry, Scott Tesar, Tommy Thomas, Kim Thompson, Mike Thompson, Steve Thompson, Ed Tombari, Jack Townley, Jack Trader, Craig Trent, Sirinya Tritipeskul, Zack Trumpet, Ken Turner, Tim Ulrich, Justin VanNingen, Anya Vasileevna, Rocco Vertuccio, Randall Von Bloomberg, Grant Wadsworth, Jason Wainman, Catie McIntyre Walker, Brad Weber, Austin Wells, Samantha West, Daniel Westfall, Matt Wilda, Barry Williams, Bill T. Williams, Erik Williams, G.J. Williams, Laura Willoughby, Michael Winford, JJ Wyatt, Brandon Willis, Michael Woehnker, David Wojcik , Sam Woolever, Kenny Wyant, Julissa Wyzukovicz, Elizabeth Zarella

Anonymous Contributors

AJ, Aislinn G, Alpha, Andrea, Andrew, Anonymous from San Antonio, Athaleyah, Bonnie, Brian, Brad W., Brandon, Cactus Bob, Caitlin, Chris S, Chris, Christopher, Dave, Doug, Eric, FJP, Gina, Greg, J.T., Jake V, James, James P., Jan, Jarret, Jason, Jayne, John, Jon, Killgore, Kirk, Kory, Loomis, Lynn, Marc, Matt, Matthew, Michelle K, Michelle M, Mike, Mike B., Nate, Nate B, Nick B, Pablo, Phoenix, Rachelle K, Raymie X, Rebecca, Rich, Richard, Rob, Roman, Ross, Scott, Sean, Stuart, Sultan, Susan, TR, Yossarian

(sorry to anyone we've missed, let us know if you have content on the site!) is featured in a documentary
"Malls R Us" is a powerful reminder as we slide into global economic crisis of how much mass consumption has shaped people's lives and created the public spaces of modern societies, East and West, North and South. This film impresses upon us the folly of our ways, the alternatives we might entertain, but also the difficulties we will face extricating ourselves from a world overly dependent on retail for prosperity and community.
-- Lizabeth Cohen, author of A Consumers' Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America

A fascinating, sumptuously filmed investigation into the history, design, function and future of the shopping mall in modern life. With its global sweep, vintage footage, and searching assessment of the mixed blessings that malls are in our lives, Malls R Us is instant classic-- the documentary you want to see on this subject.
-- Alex Shoumatoff, Contributing Editor, Vanity Fair Magazine

'Malls R Us' is eye-opening, showing us the unfortunate fate of not only malls dying in the United States, but where the new ones are ending up, and the motivation behind their creation and the developer's drive for their project to be the biggest and best. Your perception of the shopping mall will not be the same after you see this!
-- Brian Florence,

Roger Ebert's Review of "Malls R Us". 3 stars!
See info about Malls R Us on Icarus Films' web site.
Doc Zone did a great job of repackaging, renarrating,
and bringing this material up to date given the current economic climate.
(click on the link above and you can watch it now on YouTube!)

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