Here's the latest for The End of Retail: Notwithstanding the economic recovery and the vanishing of top competitor Circuit City from the scene, Best Buy lost $1.7 billion last quarter and is planning to close 50 stores out of 1,100 total.
This is a profound structural shift that seems to be biting all across the big box sector. First we saw the death of secondary firms, and now we're seeing the shrinkage of even market leaders. There's a big ongoing challenge for owners of mall properties to think about how best to re-purpose these structures. Health care services of various kinds seems like the leading option, but municipal authorities will also want to look at more fundamentally rethinking the development pattern for a world in which people do more and more of their generic shopping online.