Store closings and even dead malls are nothing new, but things might be about to get a whole lot worse. Between 20% and 25% of American malls will close within five years, according to a new report out this week from Credit Suisse. That kind of plunge would be unprecedented in the nation’s history. In 1970 there were only 300 enclosed malls in the U.S., and now

there are 1,211 of them. In fact, despite the recent turbulence in the retail industry, the number of malls open has actually edged higher every year. If the analysts at Credit Suisse are right, that trend line about to turn — sharply — in the other direction. The reasons are nothing new. People are shopping online more than ever, and that trend is expected to keep growing. Foot traffic at malls has been on the decline for years. READ MORE