There really are too many stores. Just ask the retailers.

Simply put, there is less shopping space per person today, and a return to an especially aggressive pace of building is not expected. That would seem like an acknowledgment by retailers and mall developers that a course correction is necessary to adapt to today’s shopping environment.

Macy’s chief executive Terry Lundgren said as much in an interview on CNBC last year when asked about the decision to close dozens of stores.

“We’ve announced that we’re actually going to be closing more stores this next year because as the Internet has become so strong for us, consumers are looking at their options, determining where they’re going to shop. And they don’t have to have that immediate convenience of going to the store next door,” Lundgren said. “They’ll drive a little bit further and they’ll also know that we’ll deliver it to them in a very short period of time. So I think when you put all those options together, we’re able to say that we don’t need 800 locations across the country. We can have fewer than that.”