The harsh reality of what’s happening to America’s shopping malls

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The harsh reality of what’s happening to America’s shopping malls
Image Credit: Seph Lawless
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With major retailers closing thousands of underperforming locations this year, there are serious doubts about whether entire malls – especially in rural and suburban areas – will be able to survive.

But, as we’ve learned from past cases, malls don’t usually shut down overnight – it’s often a slow and painful process.

Read more: Hundreds of shopping malls are at risk of closing

Eerie photos capture the remains of dead malls

Photographer Seph Lawless, author of the new book “Autopsy of America: The Death of a Nation,” has traveled across the country to document the state of failed malls.

Long after the last shoppers have left the building, he goes inside to capture these haunting images.

Canton Centre Mall in Canton, Ohio, thrived in the 1980s, but was in decline for many years before closing in the early 2000s.  Now, it’s just an eyesore.

CANTON CENTER MALL- Canton, Ohio

Lawless took a selfie at Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, Ohio, which was filled with snow at the time of his visit because of cracks in its glass ceiling.

ROLLING ACRES MALL-Akron, Ohio

In Euclid, Ohio, shattered glass surrounds a mannequin in a display window at Euclid Square Mall.

EUCLID SQUARE MALL - Euclid, Ohio

At the former Lincoln Mall in Matteson, Illinois, trees and plants are left to rot inside the abandoned building. Marketing signage still hangs above.

Lincoln Mall, Matteson, Illinois

Montgomery Ward went out of business in 2001, but some signage at Metro North Mall in Kansas City, Missouri, stayed around for more than a decade.

Metro North Mall - Kansas City, Missouri

At the height of its popularity, Owings Mills Mall in Baltimore County, Maryland, was anchored by Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Boscov’s and Sears.

Owings Mills Mall, Baltimore County, Maryland
Randall Park Mall in North Randall, Ohio, was once the largest shopping center in the world. But this is how many people are going to remember it.

RANDALL PARK MALL- North Randall, Ohio

Experts: Hundreds of malls are at risk of closing

Green Street Advisors has predicted that several hundred malls may close over the next decade. According to a 2016 report in Bloomberg, properties reliant on Macy’s, Sears and JCPenney stores are the most vulnerable.

All three of those department store chains have announced massive store closures already this year.

On the radio show, Clark explained that traditional retailers are closing stores because they’re not giving people what they want in terms of things like price, fashion and selection.

As a result, shoppers are increasingly turning to online and discount merchants for better deals.

“The reality is that America has been over-stored. We have far too many retail locations, shopping centers and branches of different chains,” Clark said. “But stores that are meeting your needs with low prices will continue to thrive.”

Read more: These major retailers are expected to close nearly 3,000 stores this year

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Mike Timmermann About the author:
Michael Timmermann paid off his mortgage in two years. Now, he shares his money-saving tips on his blog, Save on Almost Everything.
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