- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 19, 2017

It’s an article of faith to many that the advent of the internet tolled the death knell of the indoor shopping mall. But a new study shows that actually it was newer and better-designed malls that brought about the demise of their older competitors.

Wells Fargo Securities took a look at the demise of 72 now-defunct malls “built in the mid-1970s” and found they “were overtaken by larger malls built from the late 1970s to the early 1990s that better capitalized on demographic and transportation shifts,” the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

“Relocation of an anchor department store from the weaker property to the newer mall was a common tipping point for the downfall of the weaker mall,” Wells Fargo senior analyst Jeffrey Donnelly said, the Journal reported.

Essentially what happened was the market for indoor shopping facilities self-cannibalized, and the weakest competitors lost out.

While dead malls often end up demolished, some have been creatively repurposed for office or residential space or even medical facilities.

Just one example: the Jackson Medical Mall. Built from the remains of a shopping center in Jackson, Mississippi, the development now houses “specialty clinics, a college of public service, a restaurant and smoothie bar, and meeting spaces for community events,” The Atlantic magazine reported in March 2015. 

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