"Retailers vacated US shopping centres at the fastest pace in at least nine years in the second quarter as the relentless rise of online shopping and collapse of debt-laden chains begin to hit the commercial property market.
More than 7,400 store closures have been announced this year, with Sears, Victoria’s Secret and Charlotte Russe among a raft of household names to shut outlets in malls across the country.
“We’ve been the busiest we’ve ever been in our history,” said Scott Carpenter, head of retail liquidation at Great American Group.
The 7,426 store closures announced this year, as tracked by Coresight, compare with little more than 3,000 openings. The closures are already about a quarter more than the 5,864 during all of last year.
Some retailers are in expansion mode, however. They include athleisure brand Lululemon, which this month opened a 20,000 sq ft site in Chicago that features a meditation area and yoga studio. “In the better properties, there is very strong demand for space,” Mr Buono said.