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Bigtime Store Closures by Big Retail Chains [AUDIO]

Radio Shack, Sears, Staples — just a few of the retail chains that are shedding hundreds of stores, as the face of retailing changes and online buying and selling gains momentum.

online shopping
John Lamb, Getty Images

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Some suggest the struggles and eventual closings of some shopping malls are sounding a death knell for brick-and-mortar stores.

“I don’t know that we’re at that point,” said Dr. Carol Kaufman-Scarborough, professor of marketing at Rutgers School of Business–Camden, “but I believe it’s certainly the call to streamline and develop new strategies.”

The preponderance and growth of online retailing has certainly changed the way people shop, according to Kaufman-Scarborough. She said the relatively small amount of time it takes to browse a website has cut down, to some degree, on consumers venturing out to individual stores.

While shopping at a brick-and-mortar, will the consumer look at an item and then shop elsewhere, or online, to make the actual purchase? That is a strategy that the retailer can try to control. Malls may even have to shift gears in their choice of so-called “anchor stores.”

“Having a mall that would be anchored by other very popular stores, that are a combination of stores, may be a way to increase patronage,” Kaufman-Scarborough said.

She suggests another idea is placing new and different big-box stores in close proximity to malls.

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