Malls, over the last 50 years, have gone from the community center in some cities to a relic of the way people once wanted to shop. While malls have faced problems in the past, the Internet is now pulling even more sales away from them. And as retailers crawl out of the worst recession since the advent of malls, many are realizing they are overbuilt and are closing locations at a fast clip. New York Times
Check out these grim statistics:
- Sears is closing up to 120 stores,
- Gap is closing 200 stores and
- Talbots is closing 110.
- Abercrombie & Fitch closed 50 stores last year,
- Hot Topic, almost the same number.
- Chains that have filed for bankruptcy in recent years, like Blockbuster, Anchor Blue, Circuit City and Borders, have left hundreds of stores lying vacant in malls across the country.
What’s going into these empty spaces? Anything and everything! Schools, medical clinics, call centers, government offices, churches, aquariums and auto showrooms. In one one glass-enclosed mall in Cleveland, they’re even planting a vegetable garden!
How about you? Is it the twilight of the mall era? Have your retail habits changed? Let us know!