One expert says roughly 25% of shopping malls will survive

Shopping malls were in trouble before COVID-19 but add that in and experts suggest many malls will need to shut down or transform:

Photo by Laurentiu Robu on

Of the roughly 1,100 malls left in America, Kniffen believes only 278 are viable in the post pandemic world where online shopping will reign even more supreme. These would be the best of the best malls — or “A” malls as experts call them — that are in densely populated areas and target higher income shoppers…

The pandemic has just sped up the day of reckoning for vast stretches of zombie retail real estate. America had a glut of retail space before COVID-19, with twice as many square feet dedicated to shopping as any other country in the world. Retail is oversupplied by six square feet per capita compared to Europe, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers for U.S. merchants, a New York-based retail trade group…

In the U.S., 20%-25% of retail spaces will become vacant in the next few years due to the pandemic, Crowe estimates. Half of the malls in America will disappear over time, said Najla Kayyem, senior vice president of marketing for Pacific Retail Capital Partners, a California-based retail investment and management company

In the end, the concept of a community gathering place known as a mall still makes sense, experts believe. But the days of malls simply being stuffed with pizza places, apparel stores and various kiosks are over. COVID-19 hasn’t killed the mall, rather accelerated its rebirth into something far more useful for the modern era.

Such changes could have wide-ranging effects:

  1. This could produce nostalgia for the era of thriving shopping malls. Imagine a lot more television shows and movies portraying life between the 1960s and 2000s featuring the shopping mall as something from a bygone era.
  2. If many malls need to close, what happens to all the debt involving these properties? Someone will be on the hook for this though perhaps some of the problems could be averted if the pace of closings is slower and some malls are reinvented.
  3. Where will people go to gather? While shopping malls were never public spaces, they did provide space for people to be around each other.
  4. This will likely affect different communities in different ways. Shopping malls in wealthier areas will likely have a better chance of survival – continuing to bring in revenue for communities – while malls in other communities will close and communities will struggle to fill the land.
  5. As is noted in the article, this presents a lot of redevelopment opportunities. Will there be a common approach across shopping malls that everyone tries to copy or will this look different from mall to mall?

13 thoughts on “One expert says roughly 25% of shopping malls will survive

  1. Pingback: Selling Schaumburg, Illinois | Legally Sociable

  2. Pingback: Target on The Magnificent Mile is preferable to empty retail space | Legally Sociable

  3. Pingback: Sears in Illinois began as catalog, became a department store, and ends in a suburban shopping mall | Legally Sociable

  4. Pingback: A developer describes the difficulty in redeveloping a suburban shopping mall | Legally Sociable

  5. Pingback: Keep the suburban shopping mall alive by charging current shoppers an extra 1% tax | Legally Sociable

  6. Pingback: Residents, local leaders oppose a plan to redevelop a struggling suburban mall with 560 apartments and several businesses | Legally Sociable

  7. Pingback: Even Woodfield Mall could be enhanced by nearby high-density residential development | Legally Sociable

  8. Pingback: Transitioning a glittering downtown shopping mall to a more experiential space | Legally Sociable

  9. Pingback: The suburbia where those who work from home have money to spend nearby | Legally Sociable

  10. Pingback: More warehouses coming to the Chicago region | Legally Sociable

  11. Pingback: Another suburban Chicago mall goes in on denser housing to revive its fortunes | Legally Sociable

  12. Pingback: How much time it could take to get the municipal funding to redevelop a shopping mall | Legally Sociable

  13. Pingback: Apartments and housingcome to the shopping malls of the OC | Legally Sociable

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s