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Today's traditional shopping malls increasingly struggle with vacancies. (Photo: Shuttterstock)

It seems like every week, another retailer announces store closings. This trend is not just affecting the retail industry, it’s also affecting real estate — specifically, mall operators who have long partnered with retailers to create what once defined the American shopping experience. 

More and more of today’s traditional shopping malls are struggling with vacancies. In Q3 2017, the vacancy rate for regional malls was 8.3 percent, up from 7.8 percent for the same period in 2016. Part of the decline is due to the higher closure rates of stores that have historically served as anchor tenants — the largest retailers, usually located at the ends of the malls’ wings.

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