Earlier this year CNN published photographer Seph Lawless’s sad montage of photos depicting the demise of America’s malls in the video “Are America’s malls dying?”.

Just in time to spread some holiday cheer, on December 17 CNN published a rebuttal in the form of a CNNMoney Report entitled “Saving America’s malls from the brink of death”, in which writer Kathryn Vasel maintains, à la Mark Twain, that reports of the death of the American mall may have been slightly exaggerated.

Quoting DJ Busch of Green Street Advisors, Vasel says that in the aggregate, America’s malls are doing just fine thank you very much, with success varying depending on the mix of retailers offered.  Those doing best tend to have more high end anchor tenants, grocery stores, lifestyle services, international chains, and larger discounters.

What about Canada?

In her article “Is The Shopping Mall Dead? Not So Fast…”, published the same day in the Huffington Post, Alexandra Posadzki tells a similar story.  While the prevalence of online shopping continues to raise concerns, retail property owners voted with their money, investing $6.9 billion in new construction and renovations last year, according to a report recently issued by the Real Property Association of Canada.

And according to Dori Segal, CEO at First Capital Realty, the recipe for success is much the same:  more grocery stores, fitness centres and providers of health care and personal services, which are better able to weather economic shocks and competition from online shopping.

So as we get set to embark on a new year, it appears that the sky may not be falling after all – just changing.