The noble American mall has been killed by the recession. Already dead! So is there a trend piece to be written, still? Yes. Can we sum it up in one sentence? Yes we can:

As far as I can discern, the premise here is something about Abercrombie and its role in teen culture during the recession so the NYT found out that teens are spending less and then they pretty much leveraged that solid piece of data into other points about teens, like saying they care less about labels, or even quoting a kid walking out of an Abercrombie store saying "This stuff is too expensive" and insinuating that that is proof of some deeper trend, if you can imagine, and on the other hand Hot Topic is doing okay and Aeropostale has two-for-one sales and a store called Buckle is doing a thing where they're constantly switching out the fashions, which is working for them, and teen girls like cute things that look good but don't cost so much, although they'll still spend a couple hundred bucks on a prom dress, and if you mix all this information up and write it out for a couple thousand words or whatever, you can get in the Style section and also reinforce the conclusion that we all already suspected, "Kids are dumb."
[NYT. Pic via]