Ritzy Retail

Why shopping-mall developers are catering to the well-off

One of the supposed victims of the rise of e-commerce is the traditional shopping mall. Over the past five years, there have been numerous reports of the decline of malls as penny-pinching consumers embraced the convenience and low prices found online. According to the real estate research firm Reis, shopping-mall vacancy rates are much higher than they were before the financial crisis and recession, at 8.9% vs. the 5% to 6% that was normal up to 2007. That's forcing developers to find new kinds of tenants, such as churches and casinos. There's even a website, DeadMalls.com dedicated to vacant...

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