American retail culture may well have reached a tipping point. Major department stores are floundering about like fish in a rapidly draining pond after reporting dreadful earnings last week. The time-honored multigenerational giants like Macy’s, Sears and JCPenney are all looking at a dramatically different future. Macy’s stock collapsed 17 percent after Thursday’s first-quarter report. And high-end retail behemoths

like Nordstrom are getting clobbered, too. Shares of that politically petulant retailer fell 11 percent Thursday on news of its first-quarter results. Better take a good look, because this may be last call for the mall. The rise of online retailing and the disenchantment of shoppers with the department store is rapidly leading to the demise of American shopping meccas. For decades, malls have been anchored by super-sized department stores occupying tens of thousands of square feet. READ MORE