In a dying mall, is it really a good idea to replace department stores with big box anchors? An old mall in Chicagoland, Randhurst Mall in Mt. Prospect, has tried this, but I think they have failed. The mall was one of the first (opened in the fifties) and the largest American indoor mall at the time it opened. It used to have 3 or 4 major department stores and is now only down to one (Carson Pirie Scott, I believe). In the 1980s or 1990s, Circuit City and Old Navy came and gave the mall a bit of a boost (both have since gone out of business here). Home Depot took out a chunk of now unneeded parking lot, as did Borders...both are doing well, I believe. And most recently, warehouse giant CostCo has taken out Marshall Field's. The inside of the mall also contains more service places than specialty stores. And the number has leveled off significantly. Much of the reasoning for the mall dying can be blamed on downtown redevelopment, oversaturation of the Northwest Suburbs, and an aging and more diverse population in the area. Is this really the right option. Do big box stores really help a deteriorating mall. Or should they just tear down the rest of the mall and make it a town center or something??