Expert: Recession could cause 30 percent of malls to close

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Another recession could cause 30 percent of malls to close, according to one expert.

Frequent shoppers, brace yourselves. An expert predicts that another recession could decimate the brick and mortar retail industry.

According to Christopher Leiberger, the chair of George Washington University's Center for Real Estate & Urban Analysis, another drastic economic downturn could force 30 percent of malls to close.

Leiberger told NPR that both regional malls and strip malls could be impacted.

The grim forecast from Leiberger follows a devastating seven months for the retail industry during which 89,000 retail workers lost their jobs. In the last year, more than a dozen brands with longtime mall presences -- including J.C. Penney, Wet Seal, Bebe, The Limited, rue21, BCBG Max Azria, American Apparel and Payless -- either folded completely or announced large store closures.

SEE ALSO: Remembering our favorite stores that have closed
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