As mall operators work frantically to reinvent themselves in the Amazon era, the most successful are turning to economies of scale.
Last month, Brookfield Property Partners bought the two-thirds of GGP, the No. 2 U.S. mall operator, it did not already own for $9.25 billion, weeks after France’s Unibail-Rodamco said it would buy global player Westfield for $16 billion.
Meanwhile, major mall developers like Macerich and Taubman are facing pressure from unhappy activist investors to improve their performance, something that could well presage more tie-ups.
Top dog Simon Property has indicated it is not looking to make big new acquisitions, but it has shifted how it operates to become less reliant on retailers like clothing stores and department stores. One thing is for sure: the drama in retail that is weeding out weak stores is also leading to mall consolidation.
This article originally appeared in the May 1, 2018 issue of Fortune.