There’s no question that online retailing has had a devastating impact on malls, but the Covid-19 closures will be the death stroke. From Bruce Wilds at brucewilds.blogspot.com:
Across America many buildings stand empty or under-leased. They once housed thriving businesses that provided Americans with good-paying jobs. Over the last several years retailers have been closing stores and as the carnage rapidly accelerates this will be back in the news bigger than ever. The impact of these store closings all across America will be huge and take a huge toll on communities with a great number of jobs being lost forever. Much of this is linked to small businesses having its clock cleaned when forced to shutdown because of Covid-19, however, a lot is related to paying higher wages, compiling with new government regulations, and being forced to compete with big businesses backed by Wall Street money.
|Abandoned Malls, A Canary In The Coal Mine|
Retail closures come with a hidden cost to society that the average person fails to internalize. Retail closings will result in lots of other small businesses closing their doors. Not only will the retail employees lose their jobs but these stores support many local businesses. People often forget that the brick and mortar stores suffer several expenses not fostered upon online companies. All these constitute a sort of tax on these stores which benefits the community in which they are located.
These costs rapidly add up and include such things as maintaining landscaping, ensuring safe ingress and egress, or providing a parking lot for customers. Staffing for longer hours, for the convenience of customers, often results in being open when foot traffic would indicate a store should be closed. Dealing with security and shoplifters is another expensive burden. Over the last few years, stores such as Target and Macy’s have even had to face a slew of dishonest shoppers trying to sneak defectives products purchased online back as exchanges and trading them for a fresh unbroken product. I have seen this costly abuse recommended by several online shoppers that see this as an “easy fix” on how to handle defective merchandise.