Malls Will Disappear?

by Grant HEnson

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For many people, a visit to the mall is an integral part of the modern shopping experience, an adventure brimming with anticipation and the excitement of discovery. However, recent stories in the media suggest that the beloved mall culture may be under threat. This impending extinction is attributed to the formidable waves of change initiated by one major player:

Amazon's disruptive business model has challenged traditional retailers in many ways, but its impact on the book industry has been particularly profound. In the past, consumers had to go to a physical bookstore to buy a book. However, Amazon's online marketplace made it possible for people to purchase books from the comfort of their own homes. This convenience was a major factor in the decline of traditional bookstores, which have been closing at an alarming rate in recent years.

Amazon's influence has also extended to the publishing industry. The e-commerce giant began offering digital books, creating the Kindle reader, and allowing readers to download books instantly. This evolution in reading habits has made it easier than ever for people to get their hands on the latest books, without having to go to a physical store. As a result, many authors have chosen to bypass traditional publishers and write directly for digital publication.

Amazon's ambition extends beyond upending the book industry. The e-commerce behemoth is gradually infiltrating the generic retail market. Today, one can buy virtually anything on Amazon, from flashlight batteries to lawnmowers, and even wine. They have even introduced grocery delivery services, further reinforcing their role as the general emporium of our era.

This encroachment has posed a significant challenge to all retail stores, many of which are housed in shopping malls. With the surge in online shopping and the convenience it offers, brick-and-mortar stores in these malls are feeling the pinch. According to current estimates, around 20-25% of US malls are predicted to shut their doors within the next five years. Even those malls that manage to stay afloat will likely struggle, as specific stores within the malls close, impacting overall profitability and foot traffic.

It is not yet clear if Amazon's drone delivery proposal will materialize. However, what is clear is that the Amazon Effect is reshaping the retail landscape, putting traditional shopping malls at risk of extinction. As we stand on the precipice of this transformation, one cannot help but wonder what the future of shopping will look like, and how it will shape our communities in the years to come. The rise of e-commerce has proved that adaptability is key, and as we watch this evolution unfold, both consumers and retailers will need to embrace the inevitable change.

In conclusion, Amazon has had a profound impact on the retail landscape. Its disruptive business model has challenged traditional retailers in many ways, and its influence is only likely to grow in the years to come. As we adapt to this new reality, it is important to remember that the future of shopping is not about bricks and mortar, but about convenience and choice.

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