Mall Vacancies at All-time High

abandoned mall mall closure

Photo: Getty Images

Yes vacancies! Shopping malls are shutting down nationwide.

Mall rats of America might need to find a new home: The Wall Street Journal reports that shopping meccas have been shutting down across the country, with store vacancies at their highest in 11 years.

According to real-estate research company Reis Inc., the average mall vacancy rate is currently at 9.1 percent (up from 8.7 percent), with shopping centers expected to top 11 percent later this year (up from 10.9 percent).

The bad economy is partly to blame—bye-bye, Blockbuster and Borders!—but an even more significant factor is the current surge in online shopping, reports the WSJ.

While some landlords have reacted by accessorizing The Limited with such neighbors as entertainment venues, dentists, restaurants, and other vendors peddling wares not readily available on the Internet, it appears that malls may be feeling the impact of e-retailers for some time to come.

Leon Nicholas of retail consultancy Kantar Retail tells the WSJ, “We will hit a tipping point soon, if we have not already, where online will become so mainstream that retailers will wonder what they need some of these big boxes for, when you have a retail presence in everyone’s pocket via your smartphone.”

To read more about the soaring mall-vacancy rate, visit the Wall Street Journal online.