The American mall is dying, and not even Apple can save it.
While more brick-and-mortar stores are projected to close this year than during the 2008 recession, Apple remains the world’s most profitable retailer; according to market research, it generates $5,546 per square foot of retail space. Apple’s stores are so effective at bringing in foot traffic that they can lift an entire mall’s sales by 10% percent.
But nothing rose gold can stay: Apple blog 9to5Mac noticed on Sept. 1 that Apple’s store in Simi Valley, California (just north of Los Angeles), is shutting down on Sept. 15. It is the first Apple store to permanently close in the US.
9to5Mac postulates that the mall the store is in, the Simi Valley Town Center, faces declining traffic, as many other stores there have also been shuttering. Earlier this year, Macy’s said it would be closing one of two stores it operates in the mall—one of the 65 locations it plans to close across the US in 2017.
Apple provided the following statement to Quartz, suggesting customers in dire need of a dongle or two visit one of the other Apple stores within about 10 miles of Simi Valley:
We’re grateful to the millions of customers who have visited Apple Simi Valley since it opened more than 10 years ago. We’ve recently invested significantly in the surrounding stores, creating bigger spaces that feature our latest design. Apple Simi Valley will close September 15, the day before we re-open our renovated Apple Topanga. We invite our customers to visit us at Apple Topanga or at nearby Apple The Oaks, where many of their favorite Simi Valley Apple employees will be working.
Apple doesn’t have much reason to be concerned: Its retail operations only account for 12% of overall sales, according to The Wall Street Journal (paywall).