Christmas 2020 at South Mall – Raw & Real Retail



This is our walkthrough of the South Mall in Allentown, PA from December 26, 2020. We have covered this mall a few times before, and will continue to keep close tabs, as it is not too far from us and is dying quite severely. This last visit we counted 13 open businesses with interior concourse access, 4 of which were eateries. We don’t count outparcels and neither should you. There are 8 businesses that don’t open up into the mall that we don’t document because of this fact. No anchors remain since Stein Mart closed recently. Despite all this, they had some excellent Christmas decorations, I suspect which are many years old and look straight out of the 1980s. South Mall went all out decorating for the holidays and we just couldn’t not put out this one last 2020 Christmas video!

Songs used in this video (in order):

Mannheim Steamroller – Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
Mannheim Steamroller – Little Drummer Boy
Mannheim Steamroller – Hark the Hearld Angels Sing
David Marriott, Jr. – On the Seventh Day
Steve Gray – Wonder Groove
Steve Gray – Reach Out

Here is a link to the well written wiki page with info about the South Mall:

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I’d like to say a few words about being an ambassador to your local malls. We have been taking the time to visit all the malls within a reasonable driving distance to check up on them and see how they are doing. Also filming an updated video every year or so, regardless of the lack of many changes, just so there is a video record of the health over time. We think this is an important thing to keep tabs on, especially in these wildly turbulent times. The current health emergency has accelerated the impending Retail Apocalypse we’ve all been talking about these last several years. This was already a big problem, but the shutdowns and restrictions have made the issue 5x worse and likely hastened the death of the enclosed shopping mall.

I know we’ve all been on pins and needles wondering how bad the fallout is going to be from all of this.

There really is no way to know exactly unless we ALL go and do our small part to make it known how it turns out. I implore you, if you have the means to pick an area you would like to be an ambassador for, and go document your local malls. Whatever your medium, it doesn’t matter, any and all documentation is necessary and vital in this day and age. Whether it be on Social Media, Flickr, Youtube, any platform gets it out there and preserves it for posterity. We can’t paint this picture unless we all grab a brush…

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8 thoughts on “Christmas 2020 at South Mall – Raw & Real Retail

  1. I recently found a cool YouTube channel called Somethin' Or Other Tour [SOOT.TV] by looking through your featured channels, and then looking at your featured channels' featured channels and so on. Right now I am starting the Something Or Other Tour [SOOT.TV] playlist Events + Pop-Ups and there is a video called "CANDYTOPIA 🍫🍭🍬 in SANTA MONICA" and it takes place at Santa Monica Place mall. I don't know if there are any other mall videos on the playlist, but I thought I would tell you about it https://youtu.be/DfGAEoIiluA

  2. South Mall is probably not long for this world. The Stein Mart store closed when Stein Mart filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August of 2020. South Mall was never a regional destination. Most of its shoppers would have come from either the southern portion of Allentown, Salisbury Township, South Whitehall Township or Emmaus, all locations mentioned are within 15 minutes of South Mall. South Mall is located on Lehigh Street, known as the Lehigh Valley's Auto Mile, approximately one half mile south of Interstate 78 which is concurrent with PA 309 at that point. South Mall would be better served being re-programmed into business and professional offices, either medical or law offices, accountants, financial planners or similar. Customers visiting the offices may be inclined to shop at the remaining stores following their appointments. As an aside Yocco's Hot Dogs seen on the left at the beginning of the video after entering is the business of the family of the late Lee Iacocca and has been a popular local chain of several hot dog shops for many years in Allentown and the surrounding communities.

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