Mall outside DC has found a niche
Macy is shutting down 100 stores, following Sears and Montgomery Ward and Finish Line and Circuit City in leaving gaping black holes in the American mall scape.
Who will mourn the mall? No one, it seems. Its former customers now roam the aisles of Walmart and Target, or fill their carts virtually. replica louis vuitton handbags They buy their Russian River Valley wine and fleece slippers from Costco.
Beltway Plaza, in the meantime, carries on. It the quintessential American mall, once flush with people, now scraping along as national retailers shudder. It aaa replica designer handbags is also.?.?. not.
Local real estate magnate Sidney J. Brown opened Beltway Plaza as an open air discount mall in 1963 in Greenbelt, one of only three garden filled towns in America developed for low income families in the late 1930s under the New Deal.
Brown soon was entangled in litigation accusing him of being a District slumlord. (A consortium of local owners now operates the mall.) Greenbelt, envisioned as city filled with smartly manicured greenscape, eventually came to look more like a 1:1 replica handbags thicket of concrete and strip replica louis vuitton bags from china malls.
But the mall, with its awfully affordable S. Klein Department store, a two screen movie theater and a pizza parlor, was a hit.
In the 1970s, The Post covered the oddity of the mall Leisure Learning Center, where you could sit in front of newfangled glowing screens and take computer classes. The end result was a Frankenstein effect, with newer structures starkly jutting out of old ones, and an upper deck parking deck that, from the street, awkwardly obscures the mall itself.
There hope for change yet again. Townhouses have risen near the mall. The FBI is looking at a parcel nearby to headquarter 11,000 employees. No one dares to say it, but maybe there are new customers to be had, and yet another life for this mall.
There are a few chain stores still. Target is nearby, and the biggest lure. But there is also Fallas, where signs direct customers to zapatos and skinny jeans for mujeres.
And there are other discount chains: Burlington Coat Factory, buzzing with a sluggish energy, was stocked before Christmas with holiday gift sets that no one was buying, and once aspirational brands, such as Anne Klein and Guess, that people were. A tan wool Ivanka Trump cape with faux fur hung on a rack, mussed from the many hands that have tried it on and returned it to its hanger.
At Jo Ann Fabric, the sewing aisle, Designer Louis Vuitton Replica Handbags a beacon of immigrant industriousness aaa replica designer handbags , was humming.
It was very, extremely busy in the days 1:1 replica handbags leading up to the holidays, a cashier said.
But the stuffed owls in Santa hats were already marked down 60 percent off.
Two women in hijabs sauntered past.
We trek to Import Cottage, where you can purchase brazen replica Louis Vuitton suitcases, large laundry bags emblazoned with of Africa and untarnished Indian costume jewelry. The store lone employee has kicked his feet up on a chair. Just behind him, you can make out a photo of the shop Indian American owner shaking hands with a young Hillary Clinton.
Not far from there aaa replica designer handbags , at the Greenbelt Lions Club annual charity present wrapping station, Rowland Hoke muses about what has changed in his two decades spending winters in the mall. Diverse customers have always roamed the mall stores www.dolabuy.su , Hoke says. But Greenbelt has been transformed.
Shoppers replica louis vuitton bags who were once just black and white, Hoke says, have been replaced by Hispanic families. And, fellow Lion Dennis Boles marvels, customers from every African country.
Almost from the beginning, most of the stores occupying this mall have been mom and pops, says Barry Blechman, the proprietor of Beltway Plaza Hardware for nearly 40 years. national retailers, they looking at the big malls, and they don want to go in a smaller replica designer handbags mall. That the way it is. He describes the massive shift in the retail industry as simply another turn in a predictable life cycle predictable mostly in that the shops that come inevitably go.
The sign for his shop says simply replica louis vuitton But no one comes here for hammers or painters tape anymore.
Keys are what Blechman customers come for now: fussy electronic car keys, which would cost them several hundred dollars to replace at a dealership, but which Blechman can make at a cut rate. Getting a cut rate is why everyone is here in the first place.
Onward, to Twins African Fashion, where Comfort Adesigbin reluctantly pauses from prattling into a cellphone to discuss the mall multicultural clientele. Sure, many customers are Nigerian, she says, but just as often, they not.
are Americans! When they want to go to Africa, they come here for shopping, and they want to know what they need, fake designer bags she says. She sells them shoes and traditional glitzy, long chiffon suits, bedazzled with jewels and embroidery. She gestures toward the front of the store, at the loud printed cotton shirts that have been selling well lately. (Dashikis, she is surprised to learn, have made a comeback among the music festival going set.)
A stroll across the mall dated white tiled corridors takes you past a cookie place that is not Mrs. Fields and a restaurant that is not Panda Express but Jodeem African Cuisine, offering the Nigerian specialties ogbono soup and fufu. There an El Taco Rico, about as large as a broom closet and just as dark, where quesadillas made with tortillas pounded from fresh masa pour out of the kitchen for a stream of lunchtime clientele.
Few fake louis bag utter anything but Spanish. It is practically the national language of Beltway Plaza.
Alejandra Ramirez knows it well, and sometimes, the other retailers in the mall run over to Hardware to have the 27 year old translate for their customers. She obliges.