In the 1950’s across America outdoor shopping center popped up, soon giving way to indoor malls.  Those malls are now in a state of decline, giving way to the influences of the new economy.

U.S. retail consultant Howard Davidowitz says the major assault is coming from internet sales.  Online shopping is growing 9.5% each year and by 2018 is expected to achieve 11% of the purchasing market.

The other factor Davidowitz cites is economic: the destruction of the middle class in America.  Six years ago one in 12 Americans lived in poverty.  Today it is one in six.  The poverty rate has doubled.  “These are government numbers, not mine,” Davidowitz tells KTRH News.

We have seen several malls in the Houston area fall into decline, including Almeda, Sharpstown, Dearbrook, San Jacinto & Northwest.

"You see the growth of Dollar General opening 700 stores, Dollar Tree, Aldi Food, “ Davidowitz says.

The stores that were the anchors at almost every mall, Sears, JC Penney, Kohl’s, or Macy’s, are mostly in decline.  Gaining in popularity are what Davidowtiz calls “off-mall” stores, those you will almost never see in a mall, such as TJ Maxx and Marshalls.

“You have discount stores, and you have high end stores,” says Davidowitz.  What is disappearing are the middle income stores, and that, he says, is a sign of the times.