As the old saying goes, all great things must come to an end. Unfortunately, that couldn't be truer than here in New Jersey.

That's especially true when we talk about our once-great malls. Of course, this doesn't mean all of New Jersey's malls are in desolate shape.

But rather, many of them are simply shells of their former selves. Malls once served a major role when it came to holiday shopping. Now, a good chunk of that has moved to online.

Even outside of that, malls used to be a primary hang-out location for teens and young adults. And although you still find that today, it's not nearly as popular of an activity as it once was.

Monmouth Mall December 23, 2023
Mike Brant - TSM (Canva)

Times just change, which is part of life. Think about how many other retailers used to dominate that landscape that no longer exists today.

The same is true for mall stores. I'm sure you can remember some of your favorite places to hit up while at the mall with your friends.

I still remember my hangouts growing up at the Ocean County Mall. In fact, how many out there remember the old water fountains that used to be at multiple points throughout that particular mall?

Again, times have changed, which is why major construction is about to come underway at Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, NJ. The bottom line is that major redevelopment is necessary in order to bring the mall into the future.

Monmouth Mall December 23, 2023

But let's forget about all that for a moment and think about what this means for now. Basically, it means the end of an era for something that's been mostly the same for decades.

It also means that the 2023 holiday season was the mall's final Christmas before major redevelopment in 2024. Forever to be changed, but never forgotten.

Here's a look at what that final day of the holiday season before Christmas looked like at the mall. As you'll soon see, many areas that normally would be packed were empty and abandoned on Christmas Eve (December 23, 2023).

A sad, desolate look at NJ's Old Monmouth Mall

It was the last Christmas Eve for New Jersey's Monmouth Mall in Eatontown before major redevelopment in 2024. Here's what it looked like on that day.

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

Monmouth Mall December 23, 2023

According to mall management, portions of Monmouth Mall will remain open throughout construction.

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A look inside Hamilton Mall in Mays Landing.

Gallery Credit: Chris Coleman

Modell's in the Monmouth Mall as bankrupty is announced
Modell's in the Monmouth Mall as bankrupty is announced (George W. Forman, Townquare Media NJ)

These are the long-gone NJ mall stores we miss the most

With so many trends of the 1990's back in style, it's a great time to look back at a strong foundation of 80's and 90's culture — New Jersey mall shopping. Some stores were a highlight, every trip.

Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt

The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 Sunday morning host Mike Brant. Any opinions expressed are his own.

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