DEATH OF THE FOOD COURT: Iconic mall chains like Cinnabon, Sbarro, and Panda Express are transforming to survive
If you grew up in suburban America, a shopping trip likely wasn’t complete without a stop at the food court.
From yards away, the sweet smell of cinnamon rolls beckoned the most determined of shoppers. The first bite of fried rice and orange chicken scraped from a plastic-foam platter would melt in your mouth, even if the resulting digestive overdrive left something to be desired.
The dim, often windowless court transformed daily into a place of gossip and camaraderie — the meeting point for bored teenagers, herds of middle-aged visitors on mall-walking jaunts, and retail employees on break and in need of a quick sugar rush.
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