WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Just two days into the new year, a consumer report predicts thousands of store closures.
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Shoppers like Sara Toney at Walnut Creek's Broadway Plaza like to support brick-and-mortar stores but admit it's just easier to shop online.
"Definitely since having a little baby I can't get out to the stores as much. So I find it really convenient," she said.
Large department stores, known as "anchor stores" are also expected to suffer. They attract the majority of customers and that foot traffic gives a boost to the smaller businesses nearby. Business Insider reports 310 out of 1,300 malls are at risk of losing an anchor tenant, according to CoStar.
"Many mall operators are seeing their new anchors are movie theaters, bowling alleys or restaurants," said Tomas Gomez-Arias, Dean of the College of Business Administration at Stanislaus State University.
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He says shoppers want more than just a new shirt, they want an experience. "They need to have a reason to come to the store."
To attract more families, the Sun Valley Mall in Concord opened up Round 1 -- a large video arcade with games, karaoke, and bowling.
Beau Crowley brought his three sons to bowl, shop, and eat. "We're planning on picking up some Vans shoes at the Vans store after we're done. But we're also going to eat," he said.
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