AZUZ: Another noteworthy event of the digital age, the struggle of the American shopping mall. There are currently 1,100 of these in the U.S.
But experts are predicting that around 300 of them will close over the next five years. When larger stores like Macy's, JCPenney or Sears closed and dozens have, the smaller stores around them often follow. There's still hope for many malls, but the landscape is changing.
PAUL LA MONICA, CNNMONEY REPORTER: The American mall was once the go-to destination for many shoppers looking for bargains and suburban teenagers looking to have a place to hang out.
But the rise of Amazon and changing trends and fashion have turned some malls into modern day ghost towns.
Once popular chains like Wet Seal, Aeropostale and Pacific Sunwear had filed for bankruptcy. Other larger retailers like Sears, Kmart, JCPenney, Macy's and Kohl's have been forced to close stores. Several of these chains have announced layoffs as well.
Amazon is a big problem for all these companies. The king of e-commerce now sells just about everything. It is even starting its own line of clothing. And Amazon is also opening up more and more of its own brick and mortar stores.
GAP and Abercrombie and Fitch once red hot brands for younger shoppers are struggling to stay relevant too. This has hurt urban malls particularly hard, with big shopping centers in Cleveland, Detroit, and other cities closing in recent years.
But all hope is not like, you know, lost for shopping malls just yet. Many malls, particularly in more affluent suburbs are adding popular retailers like Apple and fast fashion retail kings H&M, Zara and Uniqlo as new tenants.
So, the mall may not be dead just yet.
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