A survey of 205 of Borders’ former stores are still vacant about one year after the chain announced it was liquidating its assets and closing down for good, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The vacancies have hit suburban shopping centers particularly hard:
Many shopping centers that lost Borders after the chain announced its liquidation are suffering high vacancies, falling rents and even debt defaults. Values have been falling in particular for the suburban shopping centers that rely heavily on big-box stores and have been bearing the brunt of the impact from online retail competition.
Luckily, York County’s two Borders locations – in Springettsbury Township and at the North Hanover Mall – were both filled quickly by Books-A-Million. But without the Birmingham-based chain coming in, those spots would have left big holes.
Meadowbrook Village, the Springettsbury Township shopping center where Books-A-Million is now has struggled with several big box stores closing in recent years, such as Circuit City and Ultimate Electronics.
So what can shopping centers do when big box stores pack up and leave?
No one has found a one-size fits all solution.
The Wall Street Journal reports that many landlords are taking reduced rent, splitting store spaces or bulldozing properties.
But many are trying to wait out the shopping center downturn and see where it takes them.
What would your advice to shopping center owners be? How can places like Meadowbrook Village bounce back?