With J.C. Penney and Sears racing to close stores, America's weakest malls are being pushed to the brink. Nearly half of the 1,050 indoor and open air malls in the U.S. have both of those struggling chains as anchor tenants, according to real-estate research firm Green Street Advisors. Of those malls, nearly a quarter are struggling with sales below $300 per square foot and vacancy rates above 20%, meaning they will have a hard time finding new tenants if old ones leave... The first U.S. indoor mall opened in Edina, Minn., in 1956, and construction peaked in the 1980s. Only six new malls have been built since 2010, according to CoStar Group, a provider of commercial real-estate information. Meanwhile, the number of "dead malls," those with vacancy rates over 40%, has nearly tripled since 2006 to 74 properties.

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