AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) — “The Boulevard Mall, the McKinley Mall, the Eastern Hills Mall are essentially secondary regional malls and about every 10 years they go through a change and a turnover too,” said Fred Floss, Buffalo State Department of Economics Chair.
Floss says because of online shopping and outlet malls, malls like the Boulevard are no longer as profitable as they once were.
“The big question in the next 10 years for a mall like the Boulevard Mall is how are they going to compete with these new outlet malls that seem to be offering better prices all the time and are closer to the border,” said Floss.
Over the past few months Macy’s closed it’s doors at the Eastern Hills Mall, and both Aeropostale and Finish Line closed at the McKinley Mall. Forest city, which owns the Boulevard Mall didn’t say increased competition is why they wanted to sell but they did admit that it does making it challenging.
“That market is changing because of the internet so more and more people are buying things on the internet,” said Floss.
Floss says to survive, secondary malls either re-invent themselves or become a third tier mall that’s more like a mixed use development. Mall owners are hoping to do that with Eastern Hills.
Floss also says because the value of the Canadian dollar is so low it’s more expensive for Canadians to come here and local malls are also seeing fewer shoppers.
“At this point in time a lot of the secondary malls are going to see a contraction in their business so this may be a good time actually to try and buy a mall because their value won’t be quite as large,” said Floss.
Floss says that when the Canadian dollar goes back up he anticipates more Canadian shoppers will hit local malls. He also said that malls will probably die out sooner in other parts of the country and last longer here in Buffalo because of Canadian business.