The pending closure of seven Ultimate Electronics stores, eight Borders locations and other stores in the future will add to the state's glut of vacant retail space. There are more than 300 so-called big boxes of 10,000 square feet or more sitting vacant in Phoenix, according to real-estate brokerage CB Richard Ellis.
Judi Butterworth, a retail specialist with Velocity Retail Group in Phoenix, agreed there could be more store closures as retailers adjust to the new paradigm.
"We need to look at retail in a whole different light," she said. "Some of these boxes are never going to be used as retail space again, and cities have to come to terms with that."
That could involve tearing down many vacant properties or reconfiguring the space for apartments or other uses.
"We need to be looking 10 years down the road, and it's going to be totally different," Butterworth said.
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