Malls in NJ are a huge part of the local culture. Anyone who grew up in NJ will tell you that they probably spent a large part of the weekends of their formative years at the mall. With so many malls to choose from and a variety of styles of malls in NJ, from strip malls to upscale malls to outlet malls, NJ may well be the world capital of malls.
The first malls in NJ were built in Paramus in the 1950’s and included the Bergen Mall and Garden State Plaza. Both of these malls in NJ are still around today, although the Bergen Mall is undergoing a huge renovation and the name is being changed to The Shops At Bergen. This mall is now being rebranded as an upscale outlet mall, with anchor stores including Saks Off Fifth, Century 21 and Marshalls. They are also adding a Whole Foods supermarket to it, which is an unusual step as most malls in NJ do not include supermarkets. Garden State Plaza is one of the largest and most successful malls in NJ, with five anchor stores including Macy’s, JC Penney, Lord and Taylor and Neiman Marcus.
Other malls in NJ in the Paramus area include the Fashion Center, which has spent the years since the 80’s as mostly a ghost mall and is now being renovated into a strip mall of big box stores, and The Shops at Riverside, formerly known as Riverside Square, which is an upscale mall with Saks and Bloomingdales as its anchors. The Shops At Riverside also features a restaurant row full of large chain restaurants.
Other northern NJ malls include Willowbrook Mall at the intersection of Routes 80 and 46, which is possibly the easiest of the malls in NJ for people from all areas to get to; Rockaway Mall, which services Morris County; The Mall At Short Hills, which is the most upscale of the malls in NJ and features boutiques that you’d find on 5th Avenue or Rodeo Drive, like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Jimmy Choo; and Newport, an urban mall in Jersey City that is convenient to PATH stations and thus draws a lot of shoppers from New York City.
Central New Jersey is no slouch when it comes to malls either; among the renowned malls in NJ towards the center of the state are Menlo Park Mall (named for Thomas Edison’s laboratory), Bridgewater Commons, the Woodbridge Mall, Brunswick Square Mall, Monmouth Mall and Freehold Raceway Mall. In addition, the Flemington outlets and the outlets in Jackson have to be counted amount these centrally located malls in NJ.
South Jersey may have fewer malls than the other areas in the state, but that section has its share of malls in NJ as well: the Ocean County Mall, the Cherry Hill Mall, Echelon, Moorestown, Deptford and the Promenade Shopping Center, just to name a few of them. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the malls in NJ; in this state it’s hard to travel five miles without hitting a mall!