Future of The Shopping Mall


“Hong Kong: Empty Mall” by Yiie is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Isaiah Adeleke, Opinion Editor

The year is 1980. You’re begging to go to the mall with your friends and not come back home for a few hours. Now in 2020 when was the last time you have been to a mall? My guess is awhile. Malls are slowly becoming more and more obsolete as more time passes by.

When malls were at their peak, in the 80’s and 90’s they were opening up more and more every year. According to The Washington Post 25 percent of malls are expected to close by 2022 in an article from 2017.. Now with COVID-19”, according to

You may be asking why malls are dying and the answer to that is multiple reasons. The number one reason is online shopping. What’s the point of going to the mall when you can just order the same clothing items online, probably for a cheaper price too. 

Not only is that a factor but the stores they do have inside of malls are not what they once were, for example, J.C Penney, Neiman Marcus, and Brooks Brothers have all filed for bankruptcy, stores that were known for being in a mall.

The problem is that most malls did not adapt to this new technology. Now, they are missing customers and are as empty as a Cincinnati Bengals game. 

There is just no reason anymore to go to a mall and since people are figuring this out, malls have been dying ever since. 

However online shopping did not just take away malls like that. Many big retailers have built their own stand alone shops rather than to be forced into a mall. This has caused malls to lose their attractiveness because you can now just enter a Best Buy Store rather than just go in a mall then find a best buy.

This is not to say everything has gone wrong with malls though, some malls are still booming and that is because they adjusted and adapted.

Something that malls will always have over online is their experience, and malls know this.

To counter the collapse many malls are incorporating arcades, movies theatres and other activities into the mall. Malls know now that their stores will not get them profitable alone, because online killed that.

But during online shopping you can’t go to the movies after picking and trying on outfits you just seen at the store, that is something only a mall can replicate. 

Many malls are also adding on high end luxury brands such as Gucci, Dior and others. The reason this is important is because a lot of luxury brands have stores that are really nice to check out.

No one wants to go to Abercrombie and Fitch for some shirts they see online and could probably get a better deal online. But going to the Gucci store, checking out everything in their inventory is something that you can not get online. 

Malls are dying, some are adapting, my question is, how long can they adapt for?

Adding in things like luxury brands, and movie theatres seem great but like all great things they cost money. And if they’re not making profit then what?

Shopping Malls were great in the 1980s, fun with your friends, trying on new clothes you may have seen in the magazine but in 2020, with online shopping, malls will cease to exist, very soon.