Viktor Simco, a former professional athlete turned commercial real estate agent at Commercial Brokers International.

LOS ANGELES—What were once shopping mall anchors have now decayed to nothing more than antiquated big box shells. Retail behemoths like Toys “R” US and Payless ShoeSource have already filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, with Payless closing over 400 stores. JCPenney shut its doors to 138 stores in 2017 with Macy’s, Kmart, and Sears not far behind. Credit Suisse released a report stating 25% of shopping centers in America are going to shut down in the next five years. Let’s not forget, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in 10 Americans work in the retail sector. These brick and mortar store closures could result in up to one billion square feet of empty retail space across the nation, which means the same landlords who used to hold all the power are now scrambling to fill these vacancies.