On Friday, April 20th, I visited the Springfield Mall at 11:30 in the morning. I was supposed to get there by 11:00 but I got help back in traffic and then a little lost. I finally saw the mall and pulled in, parking outside the Belk. I was surprised that the parking lot seemed quite full for what I was expecting on a weekday at 11:00. While I easily found a spot and not too far from the entrance either, I had half expected the mall to be empty at this time. The weather was nice and I suppose that always seems to get people out of the house. I didn’t see how anybody could have gotten to the mall without driving as the area was much more commercial as opposed to residential.
I went into the Belk entrance which had a table set up with young girls. I thought that maybe it was a girl scout table but wasn’t sure and because I was short on time, did not have the opportunity to speak with them. The Belk looked much like the many I have been in: clean and organized, though this one seemed to be a little bigger than the one I am used to. I walked through the Belk and went out into the main hallway of the mall. That particular entrance had about three young boys who seemed to be handing out pamphlets, though they did not approach me, so I cannot be sure what they were doing there.
Once in the main hallway (I don’t know what else to call it) of the mall I was surprised by the amount of people who seemed to be there at this time of the day. I walked up toward the Costco and the closer I got the Costco, the less crowded the mall seemed. Most of the stores at this end of the mall seemed to target children. The Build-a-Bear Workshop, the ‘Wiggle Worms’ (which seemed to be a play area where mothers can leave their children supervised while they shop), a store called Crazy 8 and the Choo Choo train. I spoke with the girl who ran the train and she talked about how they get really busy during holidays (which wasn’t surprising). I went into the ‘As-Seen-On-TV’ Store where a guy with a Jamaican accent was sitting at the cash register. I always enjoy looking through these types of stores and at all the ridiculous trinkets mixed in with subtly brilliant inventions.
Walking through the mall, I noticed two security guards walking about. They were both elderly men who I figured wouldn’t put up much of a fight, but their presence was still calming. I didn’t understand why the mall needed two GameStops, and the stores weren’t even at opposite ends of the mall, one was closed to the middle and the other near the Costco end. I kept myself from going into the very tempting ‘Sweet Factory’ which was colorful and inviting and also near the Costco end with all the other children’s stores.
I saw many stations set up in the center of the hallway much like every other mall I have been in. One station was selling hair curlers and strengtheners and would do your hair for you, another few stations were selling the typical cell phone accessories and the jewelry station that pierces ears. As I passed by one store, a woman with a tray approached me and asked me to try some tea. Of the few stores that I found the time to go into, most of the employees seemed to be helpful and upbeat. I went into Journey’s to look at the converse shoes as I desperately need a new pair and immediately upon entering the store I was offered help, though I refused the help, it was appreciated nonetheless. I went into Claire’s to look for a cheap pair of stud earrings and the employee working in there was rushing around, though she was kind and upbeat and greeted me nicely. I went into Icing to look for the same thing I was looking for in Claire’s and the employee did not greet me, she only kept looking down at her book. I commented to her on my surprise that they sold flasks and she only grunted in response. I went into Papaya only because it looked like an interesting store, I had never been in one. I felt that there were far too many employees working in there at the time, though they seemed to be friendly. I ended up buying a dress off the sale rack for seven dollars.
After going into the stores I rushed to walk through the rest of the mall before having to leave and saw many stores that I was expecting to see. An Abercrombie, and American Eagle, Finish Line, Victoria’s Secret, Starbucks, J.C. Penny’s, and many more that are typical for malls. I had been looking for a mall directory since I had gotten there and couldn’t find one until I got to the other end of the mall toward the end of my visit. It may have been that I wasn’t looking close enough and missed some on my walk through but I was surprised that I had only seen one throughout my visit. The food court was also pretty typical except for the Chick-fil-A cow walking around, another thing I wasn’t expecting for this time of day.
I didn’t have any particular connection or disconnection with this mall. It is a mall, much like any other. What I didn’t like was the layout, I thought it was annoying how many side-hallways there were with dead ends. I would have preferred to be able to walk through without walking up and down each side aisle to see what was down there.