NC State Ag Economist Dr. Mike Walden – “Why Are Some Malls Dying?”


Mary:  This is Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program asks why some malls are dying.  Mike, you and I saw the age of the mall develop.  As the nation’s suburbs grew and car ownership soared, shopping at malls became the wave in retailing.  But today we read stories of many malls have trouble keeping both stores and shoppers, and across the nation hundreds of malls have been torn down.  What has happened to the mall?

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. One obvious answer is cyber buying – ability to shop for almost anything from your home, have it delivered, and can even return
  2. But more – demographics – the growing aging population doesn’t like the hassle of parking and walking at malls
  3. And the Millennials like more intimate shopping “experiences” and seem to value quality more
  4. Shopping has also been constrained by lack of pay increases – particularly for lower income shoppers
  5. Finally, the emergence of outlet malls and stand-alone big box stores as competitors
  6. I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service