The future of malls: Why are so many department stores shutting down?

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Online shopping is changing the way some stores do business. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Online shopping is changing the way some stores do business. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Even if you are not an avid shopper, you have probably noticed some major retail stores shutting down.

With online shopping destinations like Amazon and other sites, it's a sign of the times. But what does that mean for the future of shopping as we know it?

Deals online are not only enticing, but convenient as well. Whatever you're looking for can be delivered right to your door, in a day, in some cases, in just a few hours.

So why make the trip to the stores when you can accomplish the same thing through a key tap or an app?

This is the issue luring shoppers away from actual stores -- and the stores are feeling it. Some stores are staying alive online, but closing up actual shops, and the ones left standing have a lot of work to do.

"These stores are trying to reinvent themselves to meet this new consumer economy we are in, " says Enrique Lopez-Lira, a professor of economics and finance at Grand Canyon University.

"People don't want to go just buy something at the store. They are looking for an experience, lifestyle opportunity so the shopping centers are changing that way as well," says Lopez-Lira.

Even the surge in residential condos and apartments are attracting people with the promise of a place they can "work, live and play."

After disappointing holiday sales, Macy's announced it would close 68 of its stores across the nation, eliminating 10,000 jobs.

MetroCenter mall was a first of it's kind when it opened in 1973, quite the contrast to what it is now. The new development group is hoping to add family apartments, corporate offices and a lot more there, hoping the eventual synergy will breath life back into this property.

Bottom line, online has changed peoples minds about standing in line. So look for big changes ahead in the way retailers adjust to the way most people shop.

"They are going to change. I think they are going to be more like a showroom. Think of the Apple store. A lot of people go to the Apple store, not necessarily to buy the iPod or iPhone, but to experience it, ask questions and think about it, and find the best deal online. A lot of the stores are going to change to that showroom kind of feel," says Lopez-Lira.

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