ST. LOUIS, MO/March 5, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) Shopping malls across the country have come under fire with the success and expansion of online retail shopping juggernauts like Amazon, Forever 21, Ikea and more. St. Louis, particularly in the northern part of the city, has witnessed the closing of dozens of shopping mall strips, centers, and outlets in recent years as the decline of the American shopping mall continues to sweep the country. Local St. Louis residents have described some barely open outlets as “ghost towns” this past holiday season, despite the popular time of year to go shopping. Others have been forced to say goodbye to malls they once cherished and appreciated for its shopping availability.
A local St. Louis resident, Erica Holliam, stated, “Everyone that lives out this way, it’s not like they don’t like to shop. They’re making the drive, they’re spending the money, so I’m stumped as to why malls out here keep declining.” Curious St. Louis set out to answer her question in a feature piece this past week.
The magazine looked at overall American retail trends, which have not been kind to the traditional enclosed mall. One analyst found that over a third of the country’s 1,200 malls will close in the next few years. The biggest reason? Online shopping.
A professor at Saint Louis University weighed in on the dilemma, “A lot of commerce is shifting to online retailing, as opposed to brick and mortar.” He went on to note that retail department stores, which often serve as anchors for malls down the line, are also struggling. “Retail can be a heartbreak because of the trendy character surrounding it,” said Fischer. “The concepts get hot, and then they get cold, and it can happen without any notice.”
Curious St. Louis also confirmed the closures are due to poor store locations. If a place isn’t easy to drive to/park at, people aren’t going to deal with the hassle when they have online shopping.