Why are American malls dying? Conventional wisdom often points the finger of blame at Amazon and a desire for shopping from home in your pajamas, but a new analysis claims that the real culprit is competition from newer, better malls that aren’t feeling the same pain as their withering forefathers.
While patterns of commerce in the coming decades are sure to change, Wells Fargo Securities recently performed a study of dead malls in its property database to figure out what killed them. The Wall Street Journal reports that out of the 1,000 or so malls in the database, 72 were officially closed and could be considered “dead.” Almost all had been demolished, and most were redeveloped into either a strip mall or some use not related to shopping.
The autopsy of these dead malls turned up a predictable cause of death: Newer malls killed them. It usually took a long time for the malls to die after a new upstart moved into the area, but their demise followed a consistent pattern.