I can remember my younger years in Boston we took the train everywhere. Then the highways came in and the overhead train system was gone replaced with an underground system with less stops. These days the highways seam to be expanding every ten years or so and just about all major cities are in talks about bring back the Rail system. The rail will connect small towns to everywhere so people wont have to fight the traffic. And we should come to some sort of balance, at least that is what the hope is.
Then in the mid 70’s Drive-In theaters were being closed to make way for Mega-Malls. The malls were the place to be, a total one stop shopping experience for the whole family. We saw two and three level malls pop up and then the outdoor strip malls came in. Mega stores and satellite stores from every brand could be found in these malls. And let’s not forget the food courts, the franchise names were in full effect at most malls. Some places were never seen in our area until they opened a space in the mall, so we loved it.
Move the clock now some 40 plus years later to 2017 and the malls are dying. Mostly due to the massive internet businesses like AMAZON and EBAY. If you are a frugal shopper always looking for the deal, just find it on line or better still just wait for the Groupon to come out. If this past Christmas shopping season showed us anything is was that Internet sales were the way to go. No more searching the stores for your size or color just get exactly what you want on line. If it doesn’t fit right, return it no questions asked. In a few areas in the country like here in Orlando, you can order from AMAZON Prime and get your order in as little as 4 hours. What used to be a few days can now be done in hours if Amazon has a fullfilment center near you.
This year already we have JC Penny looking to close between 130-140 stores, Staple to close 70 more stores, Sears / Kmart has already started closing 150 stores, Macys closing 68 stores and cutting 10000 jobs, The Limited Closing all its locations and even more store closures have been announced by retailers including American Apparel, Abercrombie & Fitch and HHGreg.
The nation’s highest-performing malls, which are characterized in the industry as “A” and “B” malls, should be largely insulated from the fallout.
The closures will hit C- and D-rated malls the hardest.
These shopping centers, which represent about 30% of malls in the US, are already battling declining customer traffic, falling occupancy rates, and low sales productivity, according to the real estate research firm Green Street Advisors.
When they lose a tenant, especially a department store, it’s often challenging to find a replacement.
Out of 1,070 malls in the US, 334 qualify as C- and D-rated and 310 qualify as A-level malls, according to the report.
I say, Close the Malls and give us back our Drive-In’s.
Thanks to Business Insider, Wall St Journal, CNN Money and Business Week.
Broker / Owner of NextHome Antonelli Realty
The Future Of Real Estate is HERE !