What's going to happen to all these empty department stores?  The numbers are pretty stark - from 467 down to 79 within the operators researched by Co-Star. No doubt some will be re-let, whether to another major retailer or to a number of smaller operators. But repurposing is clearly going to be a major factor in the years to come and, for some towns, what happens to their main department store could have significant social and economic impacts for years, or even generations, to come.

For change to happen, we need property owners to have the desire, the imagination, and the funds to undertake what is often a fairly radical change in direction.