Aggressive store closures by retailers and a shift in consumer shopping to online channels have put immense pressure on shopping malls With retailers closing stores to cut costs and consumers shifting to online avenues for their shopping needs, some analysts think we may be witnessing the beginning of the end for shopping malls. Industry experts anticipate that the dynamics of malls will soon be reshaped. For underperforming malls this is especially true, as their difficulties are not limited to replacing anchor tenants at deserted malls. Even upon replacement, store traffic declines, as customers continue to compare the mall to its earlier organization. This then impacts the turnover of other retailers at these malls, resulting in more store closures. Gary Balter, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG (CS), commented on the spiral effect of store closures: “If one of them goes, it almost forces the other one out, because the mall just won't get enough traffic.” This issue was emphasized recently when J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (JCP) and Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) – which together have a presence in half of the US’s operating shopping malls – announced that they will pull down the shutters on some of their stores. Data released by real estate research firm Green Street Advisors suggests that about a quarter of the malls that J.C. Penney and Sears operate in have sales productivity of less than $300 per square foot. Moreover, vacancy rates have surpassed a fifth of total space, as an increasing number of national chains are shrinking their store footprints to reduce costs.