The world’s malls are becoming increasingly expensive for shoppers, and the trend has been fueled by rising food prices and soaring housing costs, according to a report released Wednesday by the Council of Economic Advisers.
The report, titled “The Cost of Shopping in the 21st Century,” also warned that as mall shopping expands, consumers will have to find ways to reduce the cost of their trips.
The Council of American-Islamic Relations called on malls to close and for malls to reduce their use of the word “mosque” in their names.
“The current state of affairs is a disaster for malls,” Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Muslim Relations, said in a statement.
“This report is just the latest in a series of troubling developments that are harming malls.
It is not a coincidence that the number of malls is increasing at an exponential rate.
We must work together to save these malls and make the future of shopping in America a place where people can walk out of the mall with a smile on their face.”
The report also noted that the malls have been under pressure from a variety of factors, including an aging population, a drop in the number and quality of jobs, and new regulations that require mall security guards to wear uniforms and that limit the number that can use the mall’s escalators.
Mall closures have become a major topic in the 2016 presidential campaign, with Clinton and Trump, among others, advocating for them.
Trump has said the need for malls is driven by a global pandemic, which he says is forcing consumers to use shopping malls in an effort to save money.
Clinton, on the other hand, has advocated for malls, saying that they provide a gateway for people to shopping and can help the economy recover.
She has called for a moratorium on all mall closures.
Malls in North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee are among those that have announced plans to close.
In December, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg-Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce announced it would close four of its 11 stores and close seven others.