Malls tackle new round of store closings

Posted at 8:36 PM, Jan 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-09 20:37:27-05

Another day, another headline about a store closing. This time The Limited is shutting its doors at all 250 of its locations, making it one of the latest casualties of a shift to online shopping and fast fashion. 

It means more than one less place to shop. It means more pressure for malls who are already dealing with anchor stores like Macy's and Sears closing stores amid large sales declines, and the bankruptcy of other stores like Aeropostale and Wet Seal.

"To me it's a natural part of the evolution of retail," says Greg Sims, Senior General Manager at Southwest Plaza Mall. "Things are always changing in with the new went out with an old it kind of happens.

Sims says although those stores haven't closed at the mall he manages, they're always working to stay ahead of the curve.

"You're always out looking," Sims says. "You're always looking for the new hidden prospect if you will and how it will fit into your property."

The National Retail Federation says despite store closings, ultimately we as consumers win because of competitive pricing and multiple access points to products including online.

But it's not just stores that are adapting; the malls are too. Southwest Plaza Mall just opened a new bowling alley, a cycle bar and a yoga studio is on the way. All an effort to create a community experience you can't get online.

"We want to encourage people to come to the mall to meet and shop and maybe dine maybe bowl a few frames shoot a little pool," Sims says. "But that's what separates us from the online retailer.

An ever evolving retail environment. Creating a more diverse shopping experience.

Clothing from the limited will still be available online. Sun Capital, which owns the stores attributed the decision to close locations in part to fewer people going to shopping malls.