Malls were once a go-to shopping destination and a teenager’s hangout of choice, but now face an uncertain future as some of their biggest tenants lay off employees, file for creditor protection or hang a “closed” sign in the window and leave for good.

Beleaguered retailers have been quick to blame online shopping for their decline. But retail experts say scapegoating e-commerce is an oversimplification of a multi-faceted problem: changing consumer tastes, demographic shifts, technological advances and other forces also add to their woes.

“There’s a lot more going on than just e-commerce,” said Armin Begic, director of the retail business group at market research firm NPD Group. “There’s definitely a lot more going on under the surface.”


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