Shopping mall pioneer A. Alfred Taubman dies at 91

Shopping mall pioneer A. Alfred Taubman dies at 91

Christopher Tennyson from the Office of A. Alfred Taubman, said that Taubman died on Friday of a heart attack in his home in Bloomfield Hills. He was 91.

Taubman was a Pontiac native who helped in bringing the malls to America and became one of Michigan's most important donors to museums and universities

Tennyson recognized Taubman's devotion to the city of Detroit, its people and the state of Michigan. He said that Taubman should always be remembered as a Michigan man.

Taubman's funeral arrangements will be announced on Saturday. Taubman had a broad and deep impact on Detroit, but he devoted his whole life to making sense of the minutiae of retail. He spent around fifty years in building some of America's most successful shopping malls.

It was his insights that helped in setting the pattern for how millions of Americans live their lives.

He used to observe strange things, like many women buy more menswear than men do, why do department stores feature cosmetics on the first floor, more shoppers visit the first floor than any other and cosmetics have a very high markup.

Once Taubman explained to a roomful of students that they want people to get in easily and get out easily. He said, "getting out is just as important as getting in. That man drives a woman for shopping on Saturday, and he has trouble getting out so he can't see a football game? He'll say, 'Don't you ever bring me back here again"!

Taubman was born to Jewish immigrants who went bust in the Great Depression. He used hard work and his retailing genius to build a fortune that was estimated this year at $2.9 billion by Forbes magazine.

Taubman has a career full of honors and accomplishments, with just a single slip, one that proved especially painful.