Could it be true? Rising online sales may bring an end to something once thought of as an American institution... the mall.
So called dead malls are popping up all over the country. It's a phenomenon documented on DeadMalls.com and a recent Buzzfeed article that also featured eery photos of the malls, dust covered, empty but still recognizable.
Industry experts say the health of a mall can be seriously compromised when it loses its anchor store. One photo of the former Hawthorne mall shows the old Broadway.
Today, shopping malls are as much community hub as retail space. Think American at Brand in Glendale or The Grove in Mid-City.
In Woodland Hills, construction is well on its way for a similar concept. Heavy equipment grades the soil for the Village Marketplace. Shopping, yes. But also outdoor dining, homes, offices and open space.
Mayor Eric Garcetti was on site today to laud the project as perfect for Los Angeles.
"People shouldn't have to drive a half an hour outside their community to go on a date, to find a great park or even go to work."
The project is also close to the Orange Line which will be attractive to companies which could attract more jobs to the west Valley.
"We've got new companies that will come here and say, 'oh, you mean I can have a great lunch, go in that park on a break or with my family and there's a school down the street.' That's the sort of thing we need in L.A."
But before you play the funeral march for all big box malls, have you been to the Beverly Center lately? It's re-cast itself as a destination for luxury brands, like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci and Tiffany and Co. There's also a 50,000 square foot Forever 21 that took over the space left behind when the movie theaters moved out.
The Beverly Center houses both Forever 21 and H&M. Those are what those in the retail industry call, fast fashion. In other words, the stores that cater to those who need the kind of instant gratification not satisfied by online shopping.