Shopping Malls Through Out the U.S. are Dying Out

Shopping Malls Through Out the U.S. are Dying Out

Across the United States, enclosed shopping malls are closing their doors. This is all too apparent for us here in White Flint, with the closing of the White Flint Mall.

There are many reasons behind the closings of shopping malls across the U.S. but one main reason stands out: anchor stores closing. Hayley Peterson, in her recent article for the Business Insider, quotes a managing director from a real estate firm saying “The risk of failure for a mall increases dramatically once you see anchor closures.” Malls with strong anchors stores are more likely to succeed than malls that are losing or already lost their anchor stores. Anchor stores, named for the role they have in holding down the mall, are essential to the health of malls. Without them, people are less likely to frequent the mall.  The good news for White Flint, though, is that our departed anchor (Bloomingdales) has expressed an interest in returning.

As these malls begin to close, however, mall owners and developers hope to bring in a mix of stores and services with mixed-use redevelopment projects, something we are capitalizing on here in White Flint. The issue is really that many of these malls across cities that are left to decay and fall down for years before any redevelopment begins to happen. We still do not have date for when the mall will be razed but we know that with the White Flint Sector Plan, redevelopment is on the horizon.


This is a photo of Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, Ohio. Source: Nicholas Eckhart

Rebecca Hertz


Rebecca Hertz is the Assistant Executive Director of Friends of White Flint. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in International Development and Social Change from Clark University, Worcester Massachusetts in 2012. She completed her Master’s Degree from Clark University, as well, in Community Development and Planning in 2013. She is interested in how built environments impact the health and growth of communities. Prior to this role, she worked as a youth worker and mentor for several non-profit organizations in Maryland and Massachusetts. She grew up in Rockville, MD and has recently moved back to the region.

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