The world has changed so much over the course of the last thirty years, especially in the world of consumer goods and shopping. You should watch this feature by Bill Geist, a Champaign native and U of I alum, from his work at CBS, which is an amazing look into the world of malls and department stores back in the early 1990s.
Mike Moran posted it in Champaign Urbana History’s group on Facebook, and the short feature highlights the closing of Robeson’s department store in Downtown Champaign after mall culture started to take off and make it more challenging for department stores to do business. Geist interviews a bunch of people that are pretty clearly upset about the closure of Robeson’s, a building that still very much exists in Downtown Champaign.
It appears that Geist provided it to Moran to post in the group, so thankfully this piece of media was not lost and now will be preserved by the world wide web for all to see.
Photo of Robeson’s sign from the video