Traffic-driving anchors like Sears and JCPenney are shutting down
stores, and mall owners are having a hard time finding retailers large
enough to replace them. With a fresh wave of closures on the horizon, the problem is set to accelerate, according to retail and real estate analysts.
About 15% of U.S. malls will fail or be converted into non-retail
space within the next 10 years, according to Green Street Advisors, a
real estate and REIT analytics firm. That's an increase from less than
two years ago, when the firm predicted 10% of malls would fail or be
"The risk of failure for a mall increases dramatically once you see
anchor closures," said Cedric Lachance, managing director of Green
Street Advisors. "Their health is very important ... and most of them
are highly likely to continue closing stores."
Within 15 to 20 years, retail consultant Howard Davidowitz expects as
many as half of America's shopping malls to fail. He predicts that only
upscale shopping centers with anchors like Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman
Marcus will survive.
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