These spectacles have arrived not a moment too soon. This $5 billion not-mall is opening amid reports that the mall is dying. An army of trend forecasters have decided that millennials would rather spend money on experiences than on stuff. The retail imagination has been transposed to Instagram, and shuttered storefronts have been infiltrated by “pop-up experiences” primed to monetize the selfie. As department stores retreat, they have left “ghost malls” in their wake, complexes that lack the center of gravity to pull townspeople in but that live on in the form of eerie YouTube memorials. Meanwhile, the developers of American Dream — Triple Five, the Canadian conglomerate behind Mall of America in Minnesota — believe its gravitational pull is so strong that it will draw millions from the region, the nation, the world.
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