20% of New York retail space is sitting vacant

A study conducted by Douglas Elliman Real Estate found that one in five New York retail spaces is sitting vacant; these spaces are boarded up and attract vandalism, drug-dealing, and other unsavory activities. The rate has more than tripled since 2016. Read the rest

Private equity killed big box retailers, leaving empty big boxes across America, and architects have plans

The traditional explanation for the retail apocalypse is that Walmart and Amazon killed malls and big-box stores, but that account is incomplete -- the real story includes massive asset-stripping by debt-financed private equity vultures who paid themselves lavishly to run beloved businesses into the ground. Read the rest

Retail Apocalypse, the sim game

Bloomberg's American Mall [Bloomberg] is a retro browser game that invites you to simulate trying to revitalize a crumbling shopping mall, taking on the persona of one of four foolish investors who then has to decide whether to give breaks to your struggling retailers, bribe politicians by contributing to their re-election campaigns, chase out rats and punk teenagers, and try various gambits to tempt customers to come to your retail temple. (via 4 Short Links) Read the rest

Blame the US Retail Apocalypse on hedge funds and financialization, not Amazon and Walmart

America is in the midst of a "retail apocalypse": 6,800 chain stores are closing this year. It's true that online retailers and winner-take-alls like Walmart have delivered the coup de grace that finished off these stores, but the conditions that made them weak enough to kill are driven by Wall Street, not Walmart. Read the rest