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As Malls Close, Merchandise Needs a Temporary Home

Shopping malls were once staples of the American identity. These large complexes, typically found in the suburbs, were anchored by large retailers such as Sears, Macy’s and others.

But the internet has changed the way people shop for merchandise that ranges from inexpensive to thousands of dollars. For instance Amazon revolutionized the online shopping cart, and retail giants have had to keep pace with customer expectations.

According to a survey from the analytics firm comScore, shoppers make 51 percent of their purchases online now, compared to 48 percent in 2015. Consumers are using their computers, tablets and smartphones to find what they need, when they need it.

Shopping mall.
Shopping malls are declining.

An Old Era

Retail analyst Jan Kniffen recently told CNBC that he believes one in three shopping malls will fail in the near future. Other than online vendors, Kniffen also noted younger generations are changing up their shopping preferences by going to fast fashion and discount retailers instead of the big name retailers.

With this in mind, it may not come as surprise if in the near future, shoppers hear of their old favorite malls closing.

One of those malls currently facing its fair share of struggles is Lakeside Mall, currently located in the suburbs of Detroit. In the spring, the mall defaulted on its mortgage. Should officials be unable to work out a deal, the nation’s second largest mall may go out of business.

The decline of malls has also been expedited as large chains closed stores that were often considered anchors. As a result, landlords have had difficulty filling large spaces left vacant in some malls.

Where Storage Helps

When malls close, hundreds of stores have to leave and the process, which takes time. Off-site storage facilities may not be a realistic option for retailers to temporarily store merchandise and other equipment.

Mobile storage containers represent an ideal solution to store items on-site as retailers empty out their stores. While a bittersweet moment, merchandise still has to be protected and accounted for as companies shift their focus toward the brave new world of online retail.