Borders, the failed bookselling giant that once had over 600 outposts across America, is still struggling long after the last of its stores has closed.A survey cited by The Wall Street Journal and conducted by real estate brokerage firm Colliers International showed that one-third of the 205 stores surveyed are still unoccupied.
Moreover, the stores that have found a tenant have leases that are, on average, approximately 30% lower than those paid by Borders.
This news comes at a time when sprawling suburban shopping malls, where Borders was once a mainstay, are feeling the economic pinch.The problem for landlords when filling these empty retail spaces has been finding tenants who need the space that Borders once utilized (the average store was approximately 25,000 square feet).
While big box stores are a familiar presence on the suburban landscape, experts believe that the strip mall model is a relic of an earlier, pre-Internet era. These shopping hubs once had the largest selection of consumer goods available, but now customers can sign online and buy virtually any product on the market.
Strip malls have also been condemned by many urban planners and designers, who scorn their inability to integrate with communities, dependence on cars, and lack of aesthetics. Suggestions on how to reconfigure these spaces have included refitting them into houses, schools, or office spaces.
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