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Society without shopping: the bleak future of malls in particular and retail in general.

My latest came out just in time for Black Friday, on Manhattan Institute’s City Journal: a world without malls.  It’s my most recent rumination on the bleak future of retail in 2018–an industry that looks increasingly likely experience a collapse with no other precedent than era when the suburban shopping mall replaced the American town center as the place

Sears at Castleton closes: no longer a crisis; merely an opportunity.

My lasted post just went up at Urban Indy.  It focuses on the announced closure of the Sears at Castleton Square Mall, the largest mall in the Indianapolis metro, second largest mall in the state, and, together with all the outparcel space, probably the largest retail/commercial hub in the state.  This leaves only one Sears

Sears and Whitehall Mall: the only show in town still can barely pitch a tent.

I can’t feign innocence anymore. It’s getting harder to resist the opportunity to kick a struggling business when it’s already down. And, since it’s one I’ve covered multiple times over the years, it’s safe to say it’s turned into a pathology. But I think we’re all in agreement at this point: Sears is a flailing,

The Bon-Ton goes belly up—and even more malls need medical intervention.

A few days ago, the news of yet another department store’s demise flooded the headlines of business journals across the country. As well it should. For the retail industry, this is an announcement with devastating impact. On the heels of the liquidation of Toys ‘R’ Us, the bankruptcy of the Pennsylvania/Wisconsin-based Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., will

Tri-State Mall: not yet dead, but gangrenous.

I’ve encountered some pretty bleak suburban shopping districts in my day, but Delaware’s Tri-State Mall, just a stone’s throw from the Pennsylvania state line in the Philadelphia suburbs, ranks near the top. Notice I said “near the top”. It’s not number one: I can’t quite place it at the same tier as the Bannister Mall

When physical malls confront a virtual reality, the brand’s the thing.

Amidst all the talk of mall death—at least some of it from yours truly—it’s becoming easier to spot the retail sector’s outright desperation. When was the last time you visited a chain retailer and were not asked about becoming a member of the rewards program? And how long did it take you to find a

Sears at Landmark Mall: all dressed up and nowhere to go.

We’re all aware of the abysmal condition of the national corporation Sears Holdings Company and its two flagship department stores, Sears and Kmart. I’ve covered both numerous times. For the last decade, the parent company, in a desperate attempt to induce profitability, has shed its lowest performing locations, one after another. But none are well-performing,

The modern storefront looks great, but what they sell is just so two-dimensional.

Like many of the satellite cities surrounding Washington DC, Silver Spring offers a dense, active, well-capitalized downtown with a mixture of uses and solid accessibility, thanks to the robust and ever growing DC Metro system.   And the downtown sits just a half-mile from the northwestern corner of the DC boundary, in the prosperous expanses

Tri-State Mall: not yet dead, but gangrenous.

I’ve encountered some pretty bleak suburban shopping districts in my day, but Delaware’s Tri-State Mall, just a stone’s throw from the Pennsylvania state line in the Philadelphia suburbs, ranks near the top. Notice