(FOX 11) - First there was Black Friday now comes Cyber Monday. Retailers offered deals to encourage people to shop online, but all this e-commerce is killing business at the local malls.
It's just about 12 noon. Lots of malls are busy around the lunch hour. Not the Simi Valley Town Center. Not while we were here. In fact, Dave Smith who owns Dip It Chocolate Factory with his wife Diane Friese, says "it's disheartening."
Like all of the shop owners at this outdoor mall they appreciate their management, but say online shopping can be a real obstacle to those like them with brick and mortar businesses.
Some have suggested malls in this country are dying because of online shopping.
Jeff Dijulius is the General Manager of the mall. He says, “I’ve been in the shopping center industry.. this is my 27th year… and I don’t believe a word anybody says about the malls dying.”
He doesn’t. He says black Friday was good here, but despite the fact that there is an 11% of the shopping center is not occupied he still has hope. That despite losing one of two Macy's stores due to consolidating them. An Apple Store is gone and many others have left over the years since the mall opened in 2005.
Economist Chris Thornberg says across the country malls are suffering, but, as they have many times, they reinvent themselves like Simi Valley Town Center has tried to do with storefronts for dance and boxing classes. They say that gets the kids who bring along mom and/or dad and they shop while classes are going on.
Deadmall.com is a website that lists the top ones and on that list is the Promenade on Topanga Canyon Blvd. It used to be a vibrant center. Now, the Nordstroms is gone. Macy's is also shuttered. Other businesses are too.
Back in Simi valley Town Center shop owners say people need to think of malls in a different light. Says Eric Selvian of Hyperion Fitness, "The world is kinda online now. Everybody is looking down on their phones. People need to put their phones down and walk round."