The days of large department stores are at an end. Lord and Taylor, Sears, K Mart are finished. JC Penneys and a few others aren’t far behind. There used to be two Sears stores in Harrisburg PA. One store is a derelict building and the other is a liquor store now. Internet businesses beat the big box stores to a pulp.
The mid-borough Sears store closed in 2014. However, we still have The Bay Plaza Shopping Center, which has a mall inside of it.
Built only 25 years ago, the larger center, together with the mall, contains Macy's, JCPenney, Staples, Kmart, Saks Off 5th, Old Navy, a multiplex movie theater, several restaurants, a fitness club, many small stores, and some office space. (For some reason, Barnes & Noble couldn't hang, and was replaced about 4-5 years ago.)
Although located in the Bronx, the mall component (which opened the same year Sears closed) is strategically situated at Hutchinson River Parkway and I-95, so it serves suburban customers in addition to locals.
Apparently, the shopping center plus mall is quite successful.
I fully accept the notion that online shopping will tend to dominate in the foreseeable future. But I also believe many people will choose to shop in person where the circumstances are right.
Went to the big local mall yesterday - haven't done that in maybe two years and that's not all because of the pandemic. . It still has most of it's anchor stores - those with outside entrances. I could see Target and Best Buy doing just fine as standalone stores. What the hell a Dick's or Macy's has to offer is less clear. The stores that are only inside the mall are doomed. That said, there was a bit more foot traffic than I expected.
Even a pandemic can't get rid of those nasty massage chairs. Who the hell wants to 'relax' in a vibrating recliner in the middle of a shopping mall ?
The last time I was in a mall I went to purchase a gift card at Macy’s for my wife. This mall has a closed Sears and a JC Penneys that is hanging on. How those other small stores are staying in business is beyond me.