By Phil Wahba
October 29, 2014

It’s become a bit of a cliché to say that the U.S. mall is dead.

To be sure, many retailers complain about declining shopper traffic, and stores from mall stalwarts Sears (SHLD) and J.C. Penney (JCP) to Coach (COH) and Gap (GPS) have closed many stores in recent years. Analysts say too many malls have become stale and obsolete—in fact by some estimates, 15% of malls are expected to close by 2024 after years of overbuilding.

But at the same time, many malls have reinvented themselves through remodels, adding high quality restaurants and attracting hot new retailers. Two of the biggest mall developers in the United States have reported stellar quarterly results, showing how much life is left in the mall concept, if done well: Simon Property Group (SPG) reported last week reported its tenants’ sales rose 2.8% last quarter, while General Growth Properties (GGP) on Tuesday said that 97% of its portfolio was leased.

The biggest growth areas in retail in recent years have been luxury, as well as outlet malls, where shoppers can get big-name brands at big discounts, trends that are abundantly clear from the list of the 10 U.S. malls by sales per square foot (the most closely watched metric in retail), according to 2014 data provided to Fortune by real estate analysis firm Green Street Advisors.


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