May 4, 2017 3:05 PM

Anthony Liberatore

Online sales for retail businesses are continuing to grow at a very high rate, and increasing numbers of brick-and-mortar retailers cite internet-based competition for their decreasing profits. Shopping malls are now feeling the pressure with online retailing on the rise.

Some fading malls are able to find repurposed resurrection by providing office space, churches, medical centers, colleges classrooms and even hockey rinks.

Dr. Anthony Liberatore, associate professor of economics and director of the Master of Business Administration Program at Millikin University, says there is a lot more going on than online competition.

"Many traditional brick-and-mortar stores are hobbled by hefty debt burdens that fueled their expansion but didn't leave them much room to maneuver when sales dimmed even slightly," said Dr. Liberatore in an interview with the Herald & Review.

Dr. Liberatore said the "creative destruction" of capitalism means that new, better, more efficient ideas ramp up productivity and eventually create new jobs and new ways of doing things.

"It's our generation's turn to see how the markets work," said Dr. Liberatore. "The capitalist destructive-creative engine never stops churning, and each generation must go through tectonic shifts in the way things are done. That is what is happening to the traditional shopping mall, which has been under pressure now for a decade."