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America's Malls Are Hurting

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The recession may feel as if it's lifting—consumer spending is on the uptick and fashion industry outlooks are increasingly optimistic—but malls in California, Arizona, and Nevada are still feeling the effects of the last two years. According to WWD, mall owners lowered rents by 3.6% last year, and vacancies at the country's biggest malls rose to 8.9%—at smaller neighborhood shopping centers reported a 10.8% vacancy rate, the highest since the early-90s. Even once-booming Sin City isn't immune—Las Vegas and Phoenix, Arizona, reported the highest percentage of retail vacancies in the country. [WWD]