Johnsonville residents are worried their local mall is dying a slow death, with McDonald's being the latest tenant to ...
Johnsonville residents are worried their local mall is dying a slow death, with McDonald’s being the latest tenant to leave and a promised redevelopment in stasis.

Suburban shopping malls aren’t dead but it’s not hard to kill them off, retail experts say.

Fears of ghost malls has been raised again with news that two more tenants, McDonald’s and OPSM, are joining the string of tenants to leave Wellington’s Johnsonville Mall.

Other malls around the Wellington region are also experiencing fluctuating fortunes, ranging from being a little tired to severe decline, in the case of Wainuiomata mall.

Paul Keane says malls are an ever-changing beast.
Paul Keane says malls are an ever-changing beast.

​But Kapiti’s Coastlands is booming, thanks to a rising population and motorway changes, while Wellington CBD itself is getting a new lease of life from overseas names.

READ MORE:
* Fears for future of mall as McDonald’s and OPSM leave
* Revamp of mall gets resource consent
* New Zealand’s saddest malls

Chris Wilkinson: ''When they talk about these malls closing in the States, this is exactly what we're talking about here''
Chris Wilkinson: ”When they talk about these malls closing in the States, this is exactly what we’re talking about here”

Elsewhere, Wellington’s biggest mall, Queensgate in Lower Hutt, has been going through substantial refurbishment as it recovers from last November’s quake, sending some shoppers to Porirua’s North City.

Paul Keane, a former chairman of property and retail consultancy RCG, said population changes and ease of transportation changed suburbs, but essentially it was up to mall owners to keep their centres vibrant…