American Malls Are Quickly Dying Out. Here’s Why

When was the last time you went to the mall?

If you’re in your twenties or older, chances are you haven’t been in quite some time. After all, there are easier, more convenient, and less arduous ways to shop than walking through a giant enclosure filled with stores that you mostly couldn’t care about.

Malls also employ thousands of people, while providing much-needed revenue streams for public and privately owned retail businesses. Unfortunately, due to decreased foot traffic and drastically decreased interest in going to the mall, these stores and jobs are evaporating. Without these stores, malls become nothing more than retail graveyards.

Explaining disinterest and decreased activity at malls, however, cannot be attributed solely to the increase in online shopping. While that certainly doesn’t help, changing consumer behaviors and interests are also at fault, along with several other new trends. Business Insider recently sat down with their editors to talk about what is preventing American consumers from going to the mall. What they discovered could put the final nail in the coffin for retail as we know it.

“Anchor stores” like Macy’s and Sears aren’t doing so hot these days. Since malls heavily rely on the rent from these retailers, they lose essential revenue when they go out of business. In turn, this could slowly force those malls to close as well.

If malls want to survive, they have to continue following consumer interests and create enticing experiences in addition to renting space to key retailers (like Apple Stores). If they solely focus on providing more of the same shopping experiences and featuring the same old retailers, they’re going to find themselves in a world of hurt.