50 haunting photos of abandoned shopping malls around the US

Cloverleaf mallFlickr/Will Fisher

  • American malls are closing all over the US.
  • A report done by Credit Suisse estimates that 20% to 25% of malls would shutter over the next five years, largely because of store closures.
  • In 2017, 6,400 stores closed - a further 3,600 are expected to close in 2018.
  • These photos show how malls were forced to shutter as key anchors such as Sears and Macy's left.


American malls are dying out.

Retail complexes all over the US are being clobbered by store closures sweeping the country.

In 2017, more than 6,400 stores closed and another 3,600 are expected to shutter in 2018. According to a report done by Credit Suisse, this will result in 20% to 25% of malls closing in the next five years.

A national retail apocalypse has crippled US malls as anchor stores such as Macy's and Sears, which take up large retail spaces and drive foot traffic, have shuttered stores and left malls with enormous gaps to fill.

For many malls, this is an impossible task.

Take a look at some of these haunting photos below that show home badly America's malls have been hit:

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This is the Carousel Mall in San Bernardino, California, which closed in 2017. The mall had been hanging by a thread after it lost its two main anchors, Montgomery Ward and JC Penney, several years before.

This is the Carousel Mall in San Bernardino, California, which closed in 2017. The mall had been hanging by a thread after it lost its two main anchors, Montgomery Ward and JC Penney, several years before.

Source: Business Insider

Euclid Square Mall in Ohio had a similar fate and shuttered in 2016.

Euclid Square Mall in Ohio had a similar fate and shuttered in 2016.

It was temporarily used by religious congregations who held services in old stores. In September 2017, Amazon announced plans to build a 1.7 million square foot fulfillment center in its place.

It was temporarily used by religious congregations who held services in old stores. In September 2017, Amazon announced plans to build a 1.7 million square foot fulfillment center in its place.

Source: Crain's

This upscale mall in White Flint Mall in Bethesda, Maryland, which was once home to a Bloomingdale's department store.

This upscale mall in White Flint Mall in Bethesda, Maryland, which was once home to a Bloomingdale's department store.

Elizabeth Taylor reportedly shopped here.

Elizabeth Taylor reportedly shopped here.

Source: The Washington Post

But this wasn't enough to keep it going – it shuttered its doors in 2015.

But this wasn't enough to keep it going – it shuttered its doors in 2015.

Photographer Seph Lawless has become famous for his photos of abandoned malls. Here, he captures Chicago's Lincoln mall, which closed in January of 2015.

Photographer Seph Lawless has become famous for his photos of abandoned malls. Here, he captures Chicago's Lincoln mall, which closed in January of 2015.

Source: Seph Lawless

In its heyday, the 700,000-square-foot mall had the capacity to host four anchor stores and 100 smaller shops.

In its heyday, the 700,000-square-foot mall had the capacity to host four anchor stores and 100 smaller shops.

Source: Business Insider

But in the month's before it closed, it was home to just 40 businesses.

But in the month's before it closed, it was home to just 40 businesses.

Source: The Chicago Tribune

In 2013, the mall's owner told The Chicago Tribune that the mall was losing $2 million a year.

In 2013, the mall's owner told The Chicago Tribune that the mall was losing $2 million a year.

The same year, a court-ordered receiver was appointed to force the location to pay taxes and fines, as well as make necessary repairs.

The same year, a court-ordered receiver was appointed to force the location to pay taxes and fines, as well as make necessary repairs.

The mall's tenants did not generate enough in rent to pay for the improvements or repairs, according to an attorney for the owner.

The mall's tenants did not generate enough in rent to pay for the improvements or repairs, according to an attorney for the owner.

Source: The Chicago Tribune

The mall reportedly failed to make these changes, which included creating new exits to comply with fire codes and replacing electrical and air conditioning systems.

The mall reportedly failed to make these changes, which included creating new exits to comply with fire codes and replacing electrical and air conditioning systems.

In November 2014, Cook County judge ordered the closure of the mall following the holiday shopping season.

In November 2014, Cook County judge ordered the closure of the mall following the holiday shopping season.

Photographer Seph Lawless also captured the Metro North Shopping Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Photographer Seph Lawless also captured the Metro North Shopping Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

The mall opened in 1976 and covered over 1.2 million square feet, which housed more than 150 retailers.

The mall opened in 1976 and covered over 1.2 million square feet, which housed more than 150 retailers.

Source: Kansas City Star

It was shut down in 2014.

It was shut down in 2014.

Already, the interior looks like it's been deserted for decades.

Already, the interior looks like it's been deserted for decades.

It's completely run down and leaking.

It's completely run down and leaking.

Lawless has said it was "by far the creepiest mall I've been in."

Lawless has said it was "by far the creepiest mall I've been in."

Source: The Daily Mail

Developers had planned to renovate the mall but the makeover was slated to cost $200 million – the plan was ditched in 2015.

Developers had planned to renovate the mall but the makeover was slated to cost $200 million – the plan was ditched in 2015.

Source: Kansas City Star

The mall is now being demolished to make way for a new part-commercial, part-residential development.

The mall is now being demolished to make way for a new part-commercial, part-residential development.

Source: Kansas City Star

This mall in Randall Park Mall in Cleveland has been empty since 2009.

This mall in Randall Park Mall in Cleveland has been empty since 2009.

Source: Fox 8

The site was bought by Amazon to be converted into a 800,000 square foot fulfillment center.

The site was bought by Amazon to be converted into a 800,000 square foot fulfillment center.

Source: Crain's

Rolling Acre Mall in Ohio was once packed with visitors.

Rolling Acre Mall in Ohio was once packed with visitors.

In 2008 it faced a similar fate to other struggling malls and shuttered its doors.

In 2008 it faced a similar fate to other struggling malls and shuttered its doors.

JC Penney was once the anchor store of the mall, it even had its own auto center, which is pictured below.

JC Penney was once the anchor store of the mall, it even had its own auto center, which is pictured below.

After the mall closed, photographer Seph Lawless captured these photographs showed how this abandoned complex had been left to rot.

After the mall closed, photographer Seph Lawless captured these photographs showed how this abandoned complex had been left to rot.

Source: Seph Lawless

The inside of the mall was covered with snow...

The inside of the mall was covered with snow...

... and had been left to crumble.

... and had been left to crumble.

In June 2016, the city deemed it unsafe for locals, issued warnings for people to stay away, and increased police presence.

In June 2016, the city deemed it unsafe for locals, issued warnings for people to stay away, and increased police presence.

Source: Cleveland

After several rounds through the bankruptcy courts, it was acquired by the city of Akron.

After several rounds through the bankruptcy courts, it was acquired by the city of Akron.

Source: Cleveland

Demolition began in May 2016.

Demolition began in May 2016.

These photos were taken of Cloverleaf Mall in Chesterfield, Virginia in 2011.

These photos were taken of Cloverleaf Mall in Chesterfield, Virginia in 2011.

This was the area's first large-scale, regional shopping center.

This was the area's first large-scale, regional shopping center.

Source: Chesterfield Observer

But it closed in 2008.

But it closed in 2008.

Once a buzzing hub, the inside looked completely barren.

Once a buzzing hub, the inside looked completely barren.

In 2011 the building was demolished.

In 2011 the building was demolished.

In its place, a Kroger supermarket was built on its former 28-acre site.

In its place, a Kroger supermarket was built on its former 28-acre site.

Source: KLTV

Hawthorne Plaza in California closed its doors in 1999.

Hawthorne Plaza in California closed its doors in 1999.

Since then its made for an appropriately spooky spot for filming.

Since then its made for an appropriately spooky spot for filming.

Gone Girl, The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift, and Minority Report were filmed there.

Gone Girl, The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift, and Minority Report were filmed there.

Source: Business Insider

The mall was originally home to national department store chains such as JC Penney.

The mall was originally home to national department store chains such as JC Penney.

In total, the space was 900,000 square foot with a five-acre parking lot.

In total, the space was 900,000 square foot with a five-acre parking lot.

Today, it is just a derelict shell...

Today, it is just a derelict shell...

...covered in graffiti.

...covered in graffiti.

In 2016, drone enthusiasts transformed the space into a drone racing track, where users could race their remote control drones around the building while it was lit up in fluorescent lights.

In 2016, drone enthusiasts transformed the space into a drone racing track, where users could race their remote control drones around the building while it was lit up in fluorescent lights.

Source: Business Insider

But these pop-ups were short-lived. Later that year, the city agreed to demolish the building and is replacing it with a $500 million open-air development which includes a mix of stores, housing, and offices.

But these pop-ups were short-lived. Later that year, the city agreed to demolish the building and is replacing it with a $500 million open-air development which includes a mix of stores, housing, and offices.

Sources: Curbed

Maple Hill Mall in Kalamazoo, Michigan was closed and demolished in 2004. It was rebuilt and transformed into the Maple Hill Pavilion, which is now home to Target and discount stores Marshalls and Dollar Tree.

Maple Hill Mall in Kalamazoo, Michigan was closed and demolished in 2004. It was rebuilt and transformed into the Maple Hill Pavilion, which is now home to Target and discount stores Marshalls and Dollar Tree.

Source: Business Insider

Some of these mall closures are less recent. Dixie Square Mall in Chicago, which was once home to 60 different stores including JC Penney and Walgreens was left vacant for 33 years before being demolished in 2012.

Some of these mall closures are less recent. Dixie Square Mall in Chicago, which was once home to 60 different stores including JC Penney and Walgreens was left vacant for 33 years before being demolished in 2012.

Source: Chicago Tribune

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