Haunting Photos of Shuttered Stores on Madison Avenue

Brick & Mortar Meltdown reaches ‘Crown Jewel in American retailing.’
Brick and mortar stores face a tough environment. Retail is shifting to online operations. E-commerce sales have surged at an annual rate of about 15% in recent years. But sales at department stores and smaller stores are deteriorating. Malls have hit hard times. Retail bankruptcies have formed a horrific litany. And the signs are visible everywhere.
So here is the excerpt of an essay with haunting, beautiful photos of this meltdown as seen from the sidewalk on Manhattan’s glorious Madison Avenue, ‘Crown Jewel in American retailing.’ The essay, ‘Walking the Avenue with a Camera,’ was originally published on New York Social Diary, a great place to read about the goings-on in New York City.
By David Patrick Columbia, New York Social Diary. Photos by Pierre Crosby:
Here in New York we are experiencing a de-accessioning of retail space for retail businesses. We are seeing more store vacancies than I can ever recall in the last six decades. The City is a changing system socioeconomically. Neighborhoods come and go. In the past twenty years there has been a trend for restoration and revitalizing the communities. You can see it in all the boroughs, especially when it comes to housing. Brooklyn and Queens and Upper Manhattan, including Harlem are good examples of this progress. Although it has got more, much more expensive for the average working person, just to provide a roof over one’s head. In the 1960s when I came here out of college the rule of thumb for rental expense was one week’s salary a month. I know people today who are paying more than 50% of their monthly for shelter.

This post was published at Wolf Street on Jun 24, 2017.