According to the U.S. Census, in 2015 e-commerce made up 7.3% of all sales and 8.1% in 2016. These numbers will continue to grow as more consumers prefer to shop within the comfort of their homes. Yet, what does that mean for the future of retail centers?

Some retail store owners are pessimistic about the future and are choosing to give their properties over to the lenders (banks) rather than reconstruct their debts. When the lenders receive these properties, they have few options. Most lenders are choosing to sell these retail properties at extremely cheap prices. While other retail store owners are allowing their properties to go into foreclosure.

Retail Center are a thing of the past

Retail Center are a thing of the past

Retail store owners are left in these situations because many department stores are moving away from leasing retail space and focusing on improving their e-commerce.

       Due to the future of retail centers, many malls are starting to lag behind on maintenance repairs, renovations, and marketing. Malls that are not maintained can lower property values in the surrounding area.

       The National Retail Federation is more optimistic about the future though.  They realize that the retail industry is evolving and they have a few ideas to stay with the trends. NRF believes that drive-thru store pick-up locations would allow buyers to pick up their products without going into the store. A drive-thru would minimize shipping costs but optimize a buyer’s time and efficiency. NRF also predicts that brand stores will start to focus on advertising their brand and helping their customer’s order products online. These brand stores would have minimal merchandise as well.

Through time, we will see whether the retail store industry can adapt to meet the evolving e-commerce market or whether they will be left in dust.


By Anna Hellman

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