Despite the gradual emergence from the lockdown, shopping malls continue to face significant challenges.
Although the retail industry is slowly emerging from the crisis caused by the pandemic, the position of shopping malls will remain precarious for a long time to come. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, estimates for 2020 indicate that U.S. shopping malls have lost about 60 percent in value.
For about 118 major malls, the loss in value was about $4 billion in monetary terms. The main reasons for the shopping malls' decline in value were delinquencies and defaults on financial obligations. But even this estimate drop in value may not reflect the actual situation because if some of the pandemic-stricken shopping centers will be put up for sale, buyers for these properties may not be found at all.
The current situation has been a challenge for retail and revealed many of the difficulties that existed before. Even before the lockdowns and customer adoption of online shopping, malls were already weakened by a string of major department stores' bankruptcies and several retailers' departure. Malls that were struggling before the pandemic but continued to operate are now on the brink of survival. According to analysts, only about half of the 1,100 closed malls in the U.S. will be able to return to work.
The largest shopping malls, such as Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management, have already started to revise their malls' fate. The most unprofitable ones are expected to be abandoned, reinvesting in more viable facilities.
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