There are warning signs that a quintessential American shopping experience might be at risk of dying out. Shopping malls across the U.S. are closing at an alarming rate due to the rise of online shopping. CCTV America’s Andrea Arenas reported the story from Washington, D.C.
Number of U.S. malls diminishing due to growth in online shoppingThere are warning signs that a quintessential American shopping experience might be at risk of dying out. Shopping malls across the U.S. are closing at an alarming rate due to the rise of online shopping. CCTV America's Andrea Arenas reported the story from Washington, D.C.
The shopping mall is an American invention that has been exported around the world, but many fear it is now in terminal decline. White Flint Mall, just 30 minutes outside Washington, D.C., was once an upscale destination and a welcome alternative to a city center. However, the shopping center closed its doors this month and now awaits demolition.
The mall is not alone, as real estate analysts forecast that 10 percent of the nation’s 1,000 enclosed malls will fail by 2022, and an estimated 60 more malls are struggling to survive. Researchers have said the decline is directly tied to the soaring success of online shopping.
“As e-commerce grows as a percentage of sales, consumers have less need to travel to these destinations, so they are doing more of their shopping online, they are doing more of their pre-shopping online,” Nikki Baird, management partner at Retail System Research said. “They don’t even need to go to a mall to wander around and get a sense of what’s there, they are kind of more laser focused.”
Still, many high-end malls continue to thrive as widening income inequality among Americans proves a further threat to traditional malls. New development is also focusing on smarter design and providing service experiences that cannot be bought online.
Since 2010, more than two dozen shopping malls have shut throughout the United States, but in places such as the Mosaic District in Virginia seem to be flourishing. This complex aims to promote a way of life, not just shopping. These places also try to sell a sense of belonging and community, where offices, shops, restaurants, cinemas, and even apartment buildings are available.
“People want to live a lifestyle, they don’t want to live just individual moments. They want to continuously be in a lifestyle and an experience, so here they have the opportunity to live close by,” Jodie McLean, president and chief investment officer of developer Edens said. “It gives a sense that our place is an 18-hour day place, we have a lot of vitality in the morning, coffee time, we have breakfast time and that vitality lives throughout the whole day into the evening.”