Empty days at the mall

Doug Thompson / Capitol Hill Blue

Doug Thompson / Capitol Hill Blue

Footsteps echo in the empty hallways of the Eden Mall in Eden, North Carolina, just two days after Christmas. Eden, once a thriving textile mill town in northern North Carolina, is struggling like many towns where the principal industry has either closed or moved out. On the second shopping day after Christmas, a day when most shopping malls are packed, fewer than 50 cars could be found in the parking lot of Eden Mall. Some store owners say they’ve been told the mall may close entirely after the holiday season.