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Around the world, an Apple store is a sign of retail health. Here, in Palo Alto, CA. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

The death of the U.S. retail mall will be worse than forecast — with just a quarter of the current 1,200 or so surviving, says former J.C. Penney CEO Mike Ullman.

Quick take: Until now, most experts have said that a quarter of the malls will close. But, speaking on a panel at a conference at the Dallas Fed on technological disruption Thursday, Ullman reversed the numbers, estimating that only about 300 malls will make it. The rest will close over the next five years, becoming victims of decades-long changes in consumer taste, including the recent impact of Amazonization.

The background: Rockport is the latest U.S. retail chain to file for bankruptcy, on top of 11 others this year, and Sears is closing another 40 stores, Business Insider reports. That is leaving gaping holes in malls.

How and why the survivors will make it: Ullman said malls must have adequate cash or access to financing to make the transition to a new style of retail, in addition to a location catering to the top income quartile.

  • A mark of mall survival is the presence of an Apple or Tesla store. If a mall can attract one or both of those, it suggests it is viable, Ullman said.

Go deeper

Prosecutor: Fatal police shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. was "justified"

Khalil Ferebee (C), the son of Andrew Brown Jr., and attorneys Bakari Sellers (L) and Harry Daniel (R) at a May 11 news conference in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

A North Carolina prosecutor said Tuesday that the death of Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man fatally shot by sheriff's deputies last month, was "tragic" but "justified," due to the immediate threat officers believed Brown posed.

Why it matters: The FBI has opened a civil rights investigation into Brown's death. Police in Elizabeth City shot him five times, including in the back of his head, according to an independent autopsy report released by family attorneys last month.

McCarthy comes out against bipartisan deal on Jan. 6 commission

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) will oppose a bipartisan deal announced last week that would form a 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, his office announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: McCarthy's opposition to the deal, which was negotiated by the top Republican and Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, underscores the internal divisions that continue to plague the GOP in the wake of Jan. 6.

2 hours ago - World

Beijing's antitrust push poses a problem for Western regulators

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Chinese government's anti-monopoly machinery presents a major challenge to U.S. and European regulators, a new book argues.

Why it matters: China's huge markets are attracting investment from multinational corporations and shaping the behavior of its own globe-trotting companies — giving international heft to the country's idiosyncratic antitrust enforcement and putting it on a collision course with Western-style regulation.