In the age of the Internet — particularly with Amazon Prime — these are challenging times for malls locally and across the country.
Northland, one of the grandest of malls, closed in 2015. Summit Place in Waterford Township became a victim earlier.
Currently, some area malls like Eastland are running on fumes, and retail experts predict at least a couple more enclosed malls in the area could die and be forced to redevelop.
JC Reindl of the Detroit Free Press writes:
An epidemic of shuttered storefronts and liquidating department stores continues to plague many of metro Detroit’s enclosed shopping malls, threatening the existence of some once-thriving properties that couldn’t keep up with retail changes or simply have too much empty space to fill.
“We are definitely over-malled, and the malls are too big,” said retail analyst and consultant Ken Dalto, who is based in Bingham Farms.
This shopping mall shakeout is the result of nonstop growth in Internet shopping and more closures of traditional mall anchor stores such as Macy’s, JC Penney, Sears and Carson’s. The same phenomenon is happening across the country; some analysts have predicted that up to 25 percent of malls nationwide could close by 2022.