Shoppers explore a mostly empty mall on May 12, 2020 in Columbus, Ohio.
Matthew Hatcherr/Getty Images
The coronavirus pandemic is speeding up the demise of America’s struggling shopping malls, which could deal a devastating blow to some towns that depend on them.
When a mall goes dark, a community loses more than just a place to shop and grab a slice of pizza at the food court’s Sbarro. In many neighborhoods, the mall is an economic engine, hiring hundreds, if not thousands, of workers and providing a significant amount of dollars to the local tax base.
Malls and shopping centers across the country provide $400 billion in local tax revenue annually, according to the International Council…