The American shopping mall isn't dead. But a slice of the industry is on life support, suffering from changing times. Now, mall owners and developers are working on a remedy.
Here's the problem: Many consumers are choosing to spend their money on experiences — not stuff — and when they do shop, they increasingly do so online. Five months into the year, the U.S. saw more than 2.5 times the number of announced store closings as all of last year. As the nation's third-largest metropolitan area, Chicago certainly has seen a number of stores going dark.
At some top-performing malls, the exit of a weak retailer opens the door for a stronger performer.
But it's a different...