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Blend of mall +‎ alternative.


mallternative (countable and uncountable, plural mallternatives)

  1. (uncountable, sometimes attributive, often derogatory) Any style or genre that is ostensibly counterculture or alternative, but actually mainstream enough to be encountered at a mall, or among the type of people who frequent a mall.
    • 1997, Jim Sullivan, "Counter culture", The Boston Globe Magazine, 24 August 1997:
      As the "over-the-counterculture'" has grown, as once cutting-edge alternative styles and products have become "mallternative," Newbury Comics has benefited from the market moving in its direction. Black leather biker jackets, body piercings, tattoos, and jarring hairstyles, which once could shock the counterculturally challenged, today are part of a lifestyle choice that barely raises eyebrows.
  2. (countable) An alternative to a mall, particularly an open-air urban shopping district.
    • 2004, Kyle Ezell, Get Urban!: The Complete Guide to City Living, Capital Books (2004), →ISBN, page 163:
      Although several energy-depleting surface parking lots remain, Mass Avenue's interesting mix of business and people is quickly turning it into a full-fledge window shopper's mallternative, full of energy.


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