Urban Fold

Big-Box Centers Are Too Big to Fill

Shopping center landlords are having trouble renting their big-box spaces after the fall of Borders Group Inc., reflecting a larger shift in the way Americans shop, reports Kris Hudson.

The high number of vacancies where Borders bookstores used to operate highlights the difficulty in finding new tenants for big-box store centers. Of the spaces that have been leased to new tenants, the average rent is only 70% of what Borders used to pay.

According to Hudson, "Some industry watchers believe that big-box centers are facing problems that go beyond a weak economy. Rather, they suggest that these shopping centers are going to suffer long-term declines because Internet shopping offers more choice and greater ease."

"When [the big-box format] originated, it was about wide selection in a certain category," said Suzanne Mulvee, retail strategist at CoStar Group, a real-estate-research company. "They had the biggest selection, and that's why you'd go there. Now the biggest selection is online. So I am concerned about this sector long-term."

Full Story: Big-Box Space Remains Hard to Fill

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