With fewer shoppers come more retail store closures and bankruptcies. But Atlanta-area shopping malls have been especially hard-hit in the past few years, since precipitous store closures give shoppers less of an incentive to go to a mall in the first place, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
For example, about 30 percent of storefronts in the North DeKalb Mall near Decatur sit vacant. Gwinnett Place Mall is similarly struggling to fill its store fronts and Union Station Mall shut down in November, except for its Macy's and Sears anchor stores.
Shopping malls that remain on the brink of closing down are especially stressed during the critical winter holiday season, where retailers tend to haul in the vast majority of their annual revenue.
The owners of the stores usually are able to shield themselves financially, at least to a certain degree, with the help of Atlanta bankruptcy lawyers. But workers who lose retail jobs often are hardest hit when businesses fail.
Most older malls had been struggling for years, as discount retailers (i.e. Walmart) competed with low prices and everything-under-one-roof convenience. Then the worst recession in decades came along.
Northpoint Mall in Alpharetta and Southlake Mall in Morrow both have high vacancies but relatively strong sales, according to estimates. Greenbriar Mall in southwest Atlanta, though, has both high vacancies and weak sales.
Nationwide, about 95 of the largest 1,000 large, enclosed malls are in danger of failing due to low sales, according to Green Street Advisors. The firm gave six out of 25 Atlanta-area malls considered a quality rating of "C" or lower, five of those with occupancy rates well below the region's 89 percent average.
Unfortunately, such retail woes can have ripple effects throughout the community. Contact a bankruptcy attorney in Atlanta if you need help with sky-high debts.
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- Landlord Bankruptcy: What Happens to Commercial Leases? (FindLaw's Free Enterprise Blog)