I've been writing a lot about dying and abandoned malls lately, I thought it was only right to write about a mall in my own hometown of Rockford, Illinois.

After thinking about it, I decided to make a trip out to CherryVale Mall in Rockford and see for myself if this mall could be categorized under "dying malls".  Since I watch so many YouTube videos of dying malls in Illinois, I feel like I'm an expert now (lol).

Google Maps
Google Maps
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There is a criteria that I created that deems it as "Thriving or Surviving".  Here it is:

#1: The amount of foot traffic walking around the mall

#2: Number of shoppers inside each store I pass by

#3: Number of stores, kiosks, & food court restaurants still open

#4: How empty the parking lot is around the entire shopping center

When I visited the mall today, the parking lot looked pretty packed... other than that every other store was either closed down, filled with advertisements in the windows, or had no customers.  How are all these places staying in business?

Emily
Emily
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Even some of the kiosks were closed down when I was there.  Not sure if they're shut down just for the day or forever, but it just looks kinda blah when not everything is open to browse!

Seemed like a ton of open space around the lower level.  I remember when there were a TON of kiosks to shop at and I could find fun gifts for my friends.  Not anymore!

Emily
Emily
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Luckily, there are still massage chairs and gumball machines (which I think is a new installation?) just like the good ol' days.  My favorites when I was a kid haha.

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Maybe the mall is slowly trying to bring back some nostalgic pieces?  You know you want to get in the photo booth one more time for old time sake!  It would've been in this photo by the massage chairs, but unfortunately it's gone.

Emily
Emily
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So far you don't see that many people in my photos, right?  Yeah, not looking too good.

I had no idea the Shoe Dept. was even closed until I passed by it!  When did they go out of business? This store has so much space, I really hope someone utilizes it well since Tilted 10 arcade is right next door and a BIG HIT!

Emily
Emily
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Finally, the food court.  From what I know, every space is filled in the food court with restaurants that seem to be doing well.  So, that's a plus right?

I am guilty of going to the mall just to eat from Kobe's or Sbarro's and then leaving after. Don't be ashamed I know you've done it, too!

Emily
Emily
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After taking it a step further, I brought the question to Facebook to see what my friends thought of CherryVale Mall.  The responses are not surprising.

Samantha read your mind.  She said exactly what a lot of others have voiced over the last few years.

Canva/Google Maps
Canva/Google Maps
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Emily makes a good point!  I used to go to the mall in middle and high school with friends, but now I tend to shop online for everything since there's nothing really worth shopping for at CherryVale Mall.  Just my thoughts.

Canva/Google Maps
Canva/Google Maps
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Sarah actually worked at CherryVale for 18 years and saw the mall change over so many years!  Interesting take on it.

Canva/Google Maps
Canva/Google Maps
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And there's always the one person to bring light to a controversial topic!

Love what Josh said, Tilted 10 arcade is a great place for kids to release energy.  The corner store definitely expanded so much, too!

Canva/Google Maps
Canva/Google Maps
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So, what do you think?  After evaluating different aspects of the mall, would you say CherryVale is thriving or surviving?  In my opinion, I say they're just barely surviving.  I obviously don't know the future of shopping malls in general, but I hope they make a comeback someway in the near future!

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