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July 10, 2017 | last updated July 10, 2017 1:14 pm

Maine Mall GM: Don't read too much into closing of anchor store

The general manager at the Maine Mall said it was possible the regional shopping center would look to other uses besides an anchor-type store.

WGME13 reported that Craig Gorris indicated that online shopping has changed the way malls do business, but it's a mistake to predict the demise of the regional mall.

"Our research indicates last year, 11% of all retail transactions were non-store, so they occurred online. Now, if you look back 20 years ago, about that same percentage occurred through the catalog," Gorris told WGME (CBS13).

Bon-Ton Stores Inc. announced June 13 that it would close the 120,000-square-foot store at the Maine Mall by the end of August, which will eliminate 55 jobs.

Gorris did not speculate on how the Bon-Ton space might be reused.

Nationwide, mall owners have diverted from the anchor concept, in some cases dividing space for smaller retailers and in others by adding non-retail tenants, like health care clinics, houses of worship and even a college.

"The mall is not dead, just changing," Marshall Cohen, chief industry analyst for retail at NPD Group, told RetailDive.

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