Are malls a thing of the past?

Southern IL malls operating as usual despite national closures

(KFVS) - Hundreds of shopping centers are expected to disappear in the next decade. Online shopping, coupled with anchor stores leaving for greener pastures are reportedly forcing the closures.

There's even a website; Deadmalls.com, which pays tribute to the old buildings and harkens back to their glory years.

Not every mall is in danger of closing; as Forbes magazine reports, some of the shopping centers are operating as usual.

Deadmalls.com classifies a "dead mall" as one with occupancy in slow or steady decline where at least 30 percent of stores are vacant.

University Mall General Manager Debbie Tindall called the past ten years a perfect storm for the traditional indoor shopping mall.

"We have gone through some ebb and flows, but we are seeing, after the 2008-2009 economic downturn, a resurgence in retailers wanting to grow in this marketplace." Tindall explained.

Despite the struggle, Tindall says they've seen a 10 percent increase in occupancy in the past two years, which includes the addition of three new stores this year alone.

Tindall chose not to reveal their current occupancy.

University Mall and the Illinois Star Center Mall both have only one restaurant in their food courts.

Customers of Marion's Illinois Star Center Mall say they've seen shopping options across the board dwindle in recent years, which they say is disappointing due to the mall's potential.

"It's a really nice facility, there just aren't a lot of stores." explained mall shopper Aryanna James on Monday "I'd rather get up and go to the mall, it's a social event instead of just scrolling through some feed online. If there were more stores here I'd be here a lot more to go shop instead of online."

Administrators with the Illinois Star Centre Mall couldn't be reached for comment.

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