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Malls Diversifying In Order To Keep The Lights On

Mark Lennihan

Regional brick and mortar stores will need to do more than offer a bargain to get Black Friday weekend shoppers in the door.

David Cadden, professor emeritus at the School of Business at Quinnipiac University, says if not, they might be forced to close.

“It’s not just a question of going there to shop, you really want an experience. So they are beginning to come up with adding additional items in the mall in terms of stores and facilities.”

Cadden says a third of enclosed malls closed in recent years. Research shows that number could shrink even further by 2022, if shoppers continue to go online instead.

Martin Cantor, who heads the Long Island Center for Socio-Economic Policy, agrees.

“The traffic in the malls could be better, and they would acknowledge that. And that’s why malls try to find a reason to attract shoppers to them other than sales and retail. That’s why we have a lot of restaurants, some places have rides for kids, music, things like that, that will attract people to the malls for other than just shopping.”

He says many Long Island stores seek tax breaks in order to become an entertainment destination.

Cadden and Cantor spoke on WSHU’s The Full Story.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.