Fredericton — A report released this morning by the Atlantic Malls Association indicates that the uncanny ability of northside Fredericton’s Brookside Mall to remain open against all odds is owing almost entirely to drug deals going on in the parking lot outside.
“We measure a shopping centre’s profitability by the number and value of transactions that occur anywhere on the premises, rather than just those inside the building,” said AMA spokesman Colin Chamberlain. “It seems that this mall would fold right away were it not for the bustling drug economy on the north side, and the fact that dealers tend to meet clients in the near-vacant parking lot outside Lawtons or Zellers or whatever stores they have in that place.”
The shopping centre has seen countless small and large businesses come and go — mostly go — since it opened in 1980. Most northsiders drive or bus “over town” to the much more prosperous Regent Mall for their shopping needs, especially during the holiday season.
“Like usual, I did most of my Christmas shopping uptown,” said northsider Jeff Hayes. “But I gotta admit, I did meet my weed dealer outside the Sobeys in the Brookside Mall last Friday. And maybe he bought his Christmas presents there to save time? I mean, NB Liquor is right there — that must be how the mall stays afloat?”
Southsiders, meanwhile, either haven’t heard of the Brookside Mall, or refer to it using adjectives such as “desolate,” “barren,” or “pretty shitty.”
“Last time I went to that mall it was to buy a gram of blow in the parking lot, because my dealer lives on the north side and insists on meeting there,” said downtown druggie Rupert Barrie. “After that I got Chinese food at that takeout place for later. I was a bit creeped out when I walked in there; it was so dead, man… there was no one for miles. I got my food and just friggin’ booked ‘er back to the south side.”
The Atlantic Malls Association has been forecasting the closure of the Brookside Mall for years, but has until now never been able to pinpoint the exact reason for its relative success. “Thanks to these drugs deals, the north side is, at present, anyway, able to sustain its very own shopping centre,” concluded Chamberlain. “Hopefully dealers and druggies remain loyal to that parking lot as a primary meeting place for years to come.”