The dead mall problem


The other week, we blogged about the demise of big box retailers and the conundrum of what to do with their increasingly empty homes. On a similar note, CNN's got an interesting article up today on the rise of the dead mall. 

The news isn't good. According to the article, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) predicts that more than 3,100 stores will close in the first half of 2009 and that number doesn't take into account both public and private sector businesses. What's more, the organization predicts that 148,000 (!) retail establishments, public and private, will go out of business this year and another 73,000 stores will close in the first half of next year. 

Old-school shopping malls where a bevy of retailers were clustered under one massive roof already were facing a challenging situation as shoppers gravitated more toward open-air concepts. Could the dismal economy be the final blow for this increasingly-outdated concept? If so, what do we do with all these malls? Repurpose them? Raze them?

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