Epidemic of empty stores threatens more metro Detroit shopping malls

Posted on October 2, 2018

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.

Numerous malls have lost one or more department store anchors that they haven’t replaced, including Eastland Center in Harper Woods, Westland Shopping Center, Laurel Park Place in Livonia, Lakeside Mall in Sterling Heights and Fairlane Town Center in Dearborn.

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