Elmira was mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, used as an example of the collapse of brick-and-mortar stores.
“To understand the ripple effects of the collapse in traditional retail, look no further than Elmira, N.Y,” the article stated.
For many in the area this was not a shock.
“There is not many stores, you can stand here and count,” one customer said.
Shopping centers stand with empty storefront signs even just outside the mall.
“There’s a lot of stores that have closed, a couple new ones opened up, also a lot of switching to different locations within the mall,” another customer said.
After Macy’s shut their doors, Bon Ton moved into their space last month. Many stores have moved locations within the mall, as an attempt to stay open and fight this growing issue.
The reason being more customers turning to Amazon and other online stores.
Peter Dugo, President of Arnot Realty says there was truth to the article, but it also left out the recent revitalization. Dugo said the industry is constantly evolving, and they are changing as it does so too.
“That’s part of what we are in right now, a change over of what a mall experience is, less transactional and more experiential,” Dugo said. “Its about a place of building those memories, and that’s what our focus is on.”