This more or less opens up the “looting the dead civilization” sequence, that’s become borderline mandatory in every zombie/post-apoc. flick that’s come after DAWN. Another Romero innovation that’s become stock standard for the genre, but Romero adds a few twists that generally get overlooked. Primarily because they also deflate the myth.
DAWN isn’t just about looting the mall, it’s about the problems that can’t be solved by the material. This isn’t to say that it’s all “money and things are evil.” They aren’t, to a degree. You need shelter, you need clothing, you need food. Once you’ve got those, well, the other stuff is just things. And pretending that they aren’t is a recipe for heartache.