More and more large department stores are moving out of centralized shopping malls. Consumers prefer big stand-alone boxes.
Why might this be? Consider a few reasons:
1. A stand-alone store has better retail focus. It can target its marketing, direct mail, and advertising more effectively.
2. People like to park right in front of their destination.
3. You go to malls to browse and shop; you go to off-mall stores to actually buy things. Competing entertainment sources have lowered the importance of shopping as a leisure activity.
It is less clear whether a shopping mall is likely further from where you live. On one hand, a mall is probably centrally located. On the other hand, a mall is harder to place because of its size. You can splatter a bunch of Best Buy stores around a suburban area, but you could not do the same for the Mall of America in Minneapolis.
What about good ol’ introspection?: I prefer the big boxes. My reasons are simple. I am a man and I prefer buying to shopping. And I hate parking garages, which are common in malls. I am also willing to let these foibles determine where I shop. By the way, here is a previous MR post on the socialist origins of the shopping mall concept.