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New Report Predicts 25 Percent of Malls Will Close in 5 Years

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Financial services company Credit Suisse recently released their prediction that about a quarter of America’s shopping malls will shut down in only five years time. Business Insider says Credit Suisse’s forecast would see 220 to 275 out of 1,100 shopping malls closing by 2022.

Stores are already closing rapidly. “Credit Suisse estimates that about 8,640 stores will ultimately close by December,” Business Insider explains. And the L.A. Times writes that this week, Gymboree, the colorful chain of baby and kids clothing, filled for bankruptcy and plans to close 1,281 stores. Gymboree is in good company with several other brands (Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant, and Michael Kors) announcing their plans to close hundreds of locations in the past few weeks.

The culprit is a massive shift in how people shop. More and more customers are clicking “order” online. The L.A. Times says the online shopping preference is “one of the biggest disruptions in shopping patterns since the mail-order catalog was invented… Retail experts don’t see the shift easing anytime soon.”

Unity Marketing President Pam Danziger says that “time” has become a luxury, and shopping simply doesn’t fit in to everyone’s busy life schedule. Many stores will have to make adjustments to stay relevant.