The rise of e-commerce could very well result in the death of the malls.
According to Bloomberg, the looming death of the shopping malls could come sooner, rather than later. The publication, citing data from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, stated that around $47.5 billion worth of loans backed by retail properties are set to mature over the next 18 months.
Investors who are thinking 18 months is sufficient time for a turn-around in shopping trends should recognize that mall operators, such as General Growth Properties Inc GGP are having issues repaying debt already.
Detroit-based Lakeside Mall and its owner, General Growth Properties, failed to make a payment this month on a $144 million loan. The default by the second largest mall owner in the United States may just serve as a sign of what is in store for the future of shopping.
Bloomberg also cited Green Street Advisors, which estimates several hundred malls across the United States could completely shut down over the next decade. Properties reliant on mall anchors such as Sears Holdings Corp SHLD, J C Penney Company Inc JCP and Macy's, Inc. M are most at risk.
"The criteria to get financing is getting a little bit more stringent and cutting off the lifelines for some of these malls," DJ Busch, a senior analyst at Green Street, told Bloomberg in an interview. "It takes a lot of hope and a lot of capital to reinvent a mall that's already somewhat uncompetitive in its market."
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