Polaris Mall Owner Files for Bankruptcy
Columbus-based Washington Prime Group formally announced on Sunday, June 13 that the company is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company owns and operates over 100 shopping centers and malls throughout the U.S., including Polaris Fashion Place.
According to a media statement published on the Washington Prime Group website, the company cited the COVID-19 pandemic as playing a large role in the financial instability of the organization. Malls and shopping centers were forced closed during the spring and summer of 2020 at the height of the pandemic, and many individual stores were either unwilling or unable to pay rent to mall owners like Washington Prime.
Of course, prior to the coronavirus pandemic, many shopping malls and traditional retail centers were not exactly on good financial footing. According to an article published at Vox last November, the number of workers in department stores dropped by nearly 50% between 2011 and 2020, with the total number of operating stores dropping from 8,600 to 6,000. A shrinking U.S. middle class combined with a trend toward online shopping are considered the lead causes of the demise of department store shopping.
According to a CNBC report from August 2020, approximately 25% of U.S. malls are expected to close within the next five years.
For now, customers can expect “business as usual” at Polaris Fashion Place, as Washington Prime Group stated that the company has secured a $100 million investment to support day-to-day operations at their properties.
For more information, visit investor.washingtonprime.com.