Hair freshly done from the beauty parlor on a recent Friday morning, Ada Clark, 93, and her daughter Carol, 63, met in front of the J.C. Penney in the Pueblo Mall, about 100 miles south of Denver. Their afternoon plan: a walk around the mall, followed by lunch at Red Lobster. When the mall was built in 1976, Pueblo was a booming steel town. The Colorado Fuel and Iron Co. was the city’s largest employer, and a now-empty meatpacking plant also offered good wages. The mall — with its 1,100 retail jobs — has outlasted them both. It’s also the social hub for the city — and for the many small towns east to Kansas and south to New Mexico. “Any time I get out of town to go to the mall and maybe to Sam’s Club, I guarantee that within an hour or so, I’m going to run into someone I know,” said Steve Francis, 60, of Lamar, a town of nearly 8,000 people 120 miles east of Pueblo near the Kansas border. “You take your family, your neighbors, and you make a day of it. The Pueblo Mall isn’t just the only game in town two hours away, it’s the only game in town for three counties.” The Pueblo Mall is an outlier in the age of Amazon.com, when socks and laundry detergent and televisions — nearly anything you can think of — can be delivered to your front stoop within hours. The rise of online shopping has summoned a death knell for some of the old standard-bearers of retail. Read more at The Washington Post.