Phoenix-based photographer Jesse Rieser’s new series ‘The Retail Apocalypse: The Changing Landscape of American Retail’ documents abandoned retail stores—highlighting America’s transition to online consumerism and the impact of technology on human relations.
The series includes images of empty shopping centres, parking lots and warehouse factories of once-loved department stores and retail entities. The pastel-toned images speak volumes of our not-so-distant past, where purchasing products was an in-store experience, marked by socialization and the act of moving.
The photographer is concerned by his own contribution to the problem of technological advancement in how we buy. His lamenting words explain it aptly: “Like most Americans, I love the ease and product availability of Amazon and online retailers. I order my toothpaste with a click of a button and can obtain work supplies from the comfort of my sofa”. His worries however, are rooted in the isolation that such convenience offers: “Store closings feel like a continuation of our declining thoughtful conversations, empty playgrounds, and sense of community as we opt for a digital facsimile. We are no longer previewing music and getting recommendations on new releases in person and in retail shops. We will no longer meet our friends in food courts.”