The last ten years or so hosted a period of mall mania, but store closings during the past year have left malls with large, vacant retail spaces. Overbuilding was contagious in shopping centers throughout the country, not unlike certain areas of the US that overshot demand for new housing developments. The glut of open retail space is expected to linger for years to come.
Perhaps, then, it is unsurprising that the bankruptcy rate for major retailers has been double this year compared to 2007. A total of 15 retailers filed for bankruptcy in 2008, including iconic Mrs. Fields. I can't think of a mall without smelling those chocolatey, chain-prepared baked goods, so it makes sense that the struggle of Mrs. Fields comes at a time when malls are not feeling the love from consumers.