- Erik Drost/Flickr
- Many malls have closed for good as the retail apocalypse has continued and shopper traffic has declined.
- The regional mall vacancy rate is hovering around 9%, according to a January report from CNBC.
- But, despite the gloom around malls, some shopping centers have managed to stand the test of time.
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It’s no secret that malls around the US have been struggling.
Between the rise of e-commerce, changing consumer preferences, and the 2008 financial crisis, it’s been a tricky few decades in the retail space. The resulting retail apocalypse has left plenty of once-thriving shopping centers desolate, with CNBC reporting a regional mall vacancy rate of 9% in January.
But that isn’t to say that all malls are doomed. Plenty of shopping centers have pivoted to renting out space to coworking startups. And there are still plenty of malls that have continued to dodge extinction despite recent challenges.
Here are a few of the oldest malls that continue to survive as shopping centers:
Since its 1890 construction, the Cleveland Arcade has remained a striking Victorian landmark. Today, the arcade is owned by the Hyatt Regency and is home to plenty of boutique shops and restaurants.
- Erik Drost/Flickr
The Market Square in Lake Forest, Illinois, claims to be the “first planned shopping center” in the United States, having opened up in 1916. Over one century later, this mall now features national retailers like J.Crew, Talbots, and Lululemon.
- Slo-mo/Wikimedia Commons
The Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri, dates back to 1922. The mall has survived the ravages of the retail apocalypse and continues to host retailers like West Elm, Kate Spade, and Tiffany & Co.
- Design for Health/Flickr
Bellevue Square was one of many malls to open in the years following WWII. In 1946, the shopping center launched in Bellevue, Washington, featuring early tenants like Marshall Field, JCPenney, and Nordstrom. Today, the mall still features department stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom.
The Ridgeway Center in Stamford, Connecticut, was yet another mall to spring up in the wake of WWII, opening in 1947. Today, the space houses a Marshalls, an Old Navy, and a Bed Bath & Beyond.
Source: New England Historical Society
The Southdale Center in Edina, Minnesota, first opened its doors in 1956. According to the Guardian, the location became the first “fully enclosed, climate-controlled” mall in the United States. Today, the shopping center features a Macy’s, an AMC theater, a Buffalo Wild Wings, and an Apple store.
According to the New England Historical Society, the Pine Tree Shopping Center opened up in 1959, becoming the first modern mall in Portland, Maine. Today, the shopping center is anchored by Lowe’s and also features an Applebee’s and a Big Lots.
- Paul VanDerWerf/Flickr
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