Could Malls Be a Thing of the Past?
Buffalo, NY (WBEN) As more and more do their holiday shopping online, one retail expert says malls and strip plazas could become a thing of the past in 20 years.
"Malls are fighting to have sales be as flat as they did in 2012," says Burt Flickinger of Strategic Resource Group. "All the business is migrating to online shopping, where retail sales have gone up as much as 15%." Flickinger adds strip plazas can also be in jeopardy if they don't have strong performing retailers or vacancies.
Flickinger says online shopping can overtake other means of shopping in the next two decades. One reason why? "Retailers who have been opening longer on Thanksgiving Night and Black Friday don't have the items advertised in stock, aggravating shoppers waiting in line all night," explains Flickinger. So, how can a mall survive? "The biggest thing that can save malls is special events, live consumer events and fundraising," suggests Flickinger. He also says a mall can benefit from "brick and click" success stories. "Strong brick and mortar stores as well as strong cyber commerce capabilities can help malls survive."