Across the country, private developers and public agencies are rethinking the shopping mall. The traditional indoor mall is being reinvented to include open-air designs and non-traditional uses such as supermarkets, "restaurant rows," and even health care, educational and religious facilities. No longer faceless fortresses surrounded by seas of parking, malls are now being integrated into their communities with surprising results.
With consumer confidence low and vacancy rates high, shopping centers across the globe face challenging times. Yet the current downturn also paves the way for new ideas as departing anchors create opportunities for radical interventions and behavior patterns change such as the dramatic increase in online shopping and use of smartphone apps.
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