These haunting photos reveal the retail apocalypse ripping through America

Nicholas EckhartRolling Acres Mall is a victim of the retail apocalypse.
  • The retail apocalypse is ripping through America.
  • More than 5,300 store closures have been announced so far in 2019.
  • These photos reveal the impact of the retail apocalypse, with deserted malls, empty shopping centres, and disorganized stores selling deeply discounted wares.

The retail apocalypse continues to tear through America.

More than 5,300 store closures have been announced so far in 2019, as Victoria’s Secret, JCPenney, and Gap shutter dozens of locations.

1,100 closures were announced in a single day in March. Ten retailers have filed for bankruptcy or liquidation so far this year.

The closures and bankruptcies are leaving their mark on malls and shopping centres around the country. Here’s photographic evidence that a retail apocalypse is hitting the US hard:


Perhaps most emblematic of the retail apocalypse are photos of dead malls.


As customers increasingly shop online, malls are suffering the consequences.


Chicago’s Lincoln Mall transformed from a vibrant shopping center into an eerie, deserted wasteland after it closed in 2015.

Seph Lawless

Source: Chicago Tribune


Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, Ohio, which became famous for its decline after it closed in 2013, is reportedly going to be redeveloped by Amazon

Source: Akron Beacon Journal/Ohio.com


Read more:
Inside the infamous dead mall that Amazon is reportedly redeveloping


Even malls that are still technically open are seeing the impact of the retail apocalypse.

Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

Regency Square Mall in Richmond, Virginia, attempted to cover up store closings by installing vending machines in boarded-up walls in 2017.

Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

Walking into some struggling brands’ stores instantly highlights problems.

Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

Visiting a JCPenney in Richmond, Virginia, revealed empty shelves, messy displays, and abandoned cash registers — leaving little question as to why sales were slumping.

Business Insider/Hayley Peterson


Read more:
We went to JCPenney to see why sales are sinking – and it revealed why giant mall-based department stores are dying


Even before the company declared bankruptcy in 2018, Sears was hit with plummeting sales and dwindling inventory.

Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

With hundreds of stores closing, many Sears locations are simply trying to get rid of whatever products they have in stock.

Toya Sarno Jordan/Business Insider

Kmart, which merged with Sears in 2005, has been criticised for its similarly disorganized stores.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Payless filed for bankruptcy in February and is planning to close roughly 2,500 stores.

Katie Canales/Business Insider

A visit to a San Francisco, California, location revealed outdated styles and dull shoe displays.

Katie Canales/Business Insider


Read more:
We went shopping at Payless 3 days after it filed for bankruptcy for the second time in 2 years – and it’s clear why the store is dying


Mattress Firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in early October 2018.

Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

The retailer announced plans to close more than 200 locations.

Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

Other stores have already been forced to close all locations.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Toys R Us completed the process of liquidating all of its 735 US locations following an unsuccessful attempt to restructure the business through bankruptcy in 2018.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Toys R Us won’t be the last retailer that dies as the retail apocalypse rips through the US.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

At least 16 major US retailers filed for bankruptcy or announced liquidations in 2018, including Claire’s, Nine West, and The Bon-Ton Stores

Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

Payless, Gymboree, and Charlotte Russe are among the companies that have filed for bankruptcy and announced full or partial liquidations so far in 2019.

Business Insider/Mary Hanbury

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