In the history of Fresno, the shopping mall has been the savior – and sometime bane – of city commerce.
After all, it was the Manchester Mall – and later Fashion Fair and Sierra Vista and River Park – that helped drive businesses north and away from the city’s urban core, a trajectory that has mostly continued for the past 50 years. If you grew up in the area, you no doubt spent large amounts of your teenage years wandering around one of these retail centers.
That could all be coming to an end, according to a report issued by Credit Suisse and reported in the LA Times. According to the story, predictions have it that up to 25 percent of shopping malls will close in the next five years, as physical store fronts are replaced by online retail sites.
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Those seeds appear to have already been planted in Fresno, even if they haven’t hit hard quite yet. While Fresno has already lost its most famous mall, the one currently being replaced by Fulton Street, Fig Garden Village seems to have too little space, for all the national retailer that want to come in.
That is the trend, according Ron Friedman, a retail expert, quoted in the LA Times story.
“You’re going to see a future where you’ll be living at the mall,” he says.
You just might not be shopping there.