As we sit on the Black Friday perch, the state of the American mall looks just fine. After all, this weekend, some 135 million Americans will spend some $50 billion on retail purchases–an enormous chunk of which still takes place in malls. And the Black Friday shopping extravaganza is only growing, with stores opening earlier and earlier and sales carrying on longer and longer.
But when you realize that nearly a third of annual retail sales take place in the mere four weeks between Black Friday and Christmas, you start to wonder how malls are faring the other 48 weeks of the year. Now, enormous holiday sales spikes are not at all new, but the extent to which malls are suffering outside the holiday season is.