Thursday, March 26, 2009

Closing Stores Leave Ghosts Behind

Perhaps you've noticed as the economy has worsened, many extinct retail outlets are not being revived in some other form, as they would have been in years past.

In the boom years of the American economy, if a large retail store closed a location, it was typical for another, oftentimes similar retail chain to move into the space. Within the Deadmalls phenomenon, we've seen time and again once-prime retail space in shopping malls succeeded by dollar stores, shoddy magazine stands or even cut-rate churches.

The National League of Cities says the trend is changing. CNN has a report on their new survey that says over three-quarters of respondents to the poll said they've seen a decline in new retail start-ups.

In the short-term this will be devastating for communities all across the country, but long-term, it will be interesting how our evolving, downsized culture finds a way to use those spaces. If you've ever wondered what it would be like to live in a shopping mall or hold a farmer's market in a McDonald's, you may not have long to wait.



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