American retailers have struggled in recent years, especially in the face of ever-increasing online sales, which have been spearheaded by Amazon. In the face of the faster and cheaper online age, Retail stores have shut down vast numbers of stores and even once notable corporate names have filed for Bankruptcy.

Which retailers are struggling?

Many American retailers have struggled recently, with the most recent being Payless Inc. shoe chain, which filed for bankruptcy a few days ago and announced that it would be closing hundreds of stores. Reports say that Rue21 Inc., the teen-apparel retailer with around 1,000 stores, is getting ready to file for bankruptcy as soon as April.

Ralph Lauren Corp. announced that it is closing its flagship Fifth Avenue Polo Store in Manhattan. This is only the latest news on stores closing recently, with companies like GameStop, JCPenney, Sears, Radioshack and more having either closed stores or filed for bankruptcy in the last few years. For 2017, year-to-date store closings are outpacing the numbers from 2008, at the height of the recession.

The domino effect on malls and jobs

This rapid decline for the retail industry with so many stores being closed and bankruptcy filings is also causing a domino effect on American malls and jobs. According to CoStar Group, which provides information and analytics on the commercial real estate industry, more than 10% of retail space in America may have to be closed, converted, or charged for lower rent.

This is because malls have not been able to fill all the open space they now have in the wake of store closings and struggling companies. Very high-end malls have been largely unaffected, but lower end malls and stores are taking a major hit. Retail jobs have also been affected by all of this, as Labor Department figures have shown that around 30,000 retail positions have been cut in each of the last two months.

Amazon's dominance

According to EMarketer Inc., a market research company, Amazon accounted for 53% of all retail e-commerce sales growth in 2016. The rest of the industry combined accounted for 47%. With the rapid rise of online shopping, Amazon has been the major beneficiary and has become the major household name in the online world. It has outpaced rivals and is also easily holding off the competition. Amazon is also thriving in the modern age with it being more convenient then ever to purchase items online.