Malls, facing closing stores and retail bankruptcies, are taking all sorts of different approaches to the problem.
One way is to make the experience more, well, experiential.
Another was is to find other uses for the real estate. Like for community colleges, health care facilities, or even restaurant ghost kitchens.
But now, mall operators Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners, along with the brand licensing firm Authentic Brands Group, have come up with another way to deal with the bankruptcy of Forever 21, which has operated large, often multi-level stores in almost half the malls they own.
They're buying the company.
NPR's Marketplace reports that they "have agreed to purchase the assets of Forever 21, the bankrupt clothing retailer, for $81 million."
Analysts say that it is unlikely that the mall consortium will be able to return Forever 21 to past glories, but for now, "the lights stay on." People stay employed. And their malls look less like ghost towns.
But … there are always possibilities. <i>Marketplace</i> notes that "Simon Property Group and Brookfield have done this before. In 2016 they bought the bankrupt clothing chain Aéropostale. Since then, it has reopened more than 500 stores."