America's malls have been dying for years. Of the nearly 1,200 enclosed malls in the U.S., one-third are doing so poorly that they aren't generating enough money to pay for the maintenance of the structures themselves. Part of this decline can be traced to the Internet. Now that consumers can easily buy products online, brick-and-mortar retail stores can't afford to simply serve as showcase rooms, only to see visitors buy the very products they offer from Amazon at lower prices. They need to offer exceptional in-person experiences to keep customers coming, buying in, and returning to their stores.
In the midst of this graveyard of malls, new retail concepts are
emerging. In New York, for instance, there's been a rise in multi-use
stores. At Molasses Books, you can leaf through coffee-table books while drinking a beer. At Community 54, you can play vintage video games while buying mens' streetwear. At Blind Barber, you can get a cocktail before you get a shave.
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