Will people be driving around in the future and seeing lots of empty big boxes where stores used to be?
No, because places like grocery stores have to stay open because you can’t really buy food online and ensure that it stays fresh and everything. Also for like malls/department stores that close, they usually tear them down if they’re abandoned and build something else on the site.
Amazon Fresh Groceries
At least, in Los Angeles, you can.
However, i have never ordered food through Amazon. The market is like a 10 minute drive away…
But, my neighbors order stuff through Amazon Fresh all the time, they always have these bags/containers on there porch.
They look like this:
Ironically, USPS Delivers and picks up the bags majority of the time.
Outside of grocery stores, the growth of online commerce has been having a profound effect on the brick-and-mortar stores recently; just take a look at chains like Sears and Kmart. Retail stores could have their buildings rehabilitated and renovated for other stores to fill empty space; the former Kmart in Plymouth Township will soon be experiencing this with plans to divide the square footage into three smaller stores.
Personally, I’ve seen former big box stores in my area become reused as megachurches, private schools, or industrial/commercial warehouses. But there are also a handful of them that have been unoccupied for long periods of time, to the point where their sites became dilapidated.
The longevity of shopping centers and malls is difficult to predict. Deterioration takes place slowly over time. It can be difficult to predict which ones will remain and which ones will go away. Some of this has to do with changes in the neighborhoods surrounding the facilities.
Where I live we have one of the oldest shopping centers in the country. It is a plaza type center with groups of stores clustered together so there is close parking. The first construction began in 1949. It was the edge of town at the time and its survival was questioned. That shopping center is now in the center of the urban area and is still going strong. Stores come and go but occupancy remains high.
Meanwhile several suburban mall type centers which were built many years later have failed completely. Two were demolished to the ground. A third would be an empty site except for a church buying it to create a community center. In my neighborhood the old K-Mart building was subdivided into several smaller stores. The three rules of real estate are location, location, location.