"The vacancy rate reached 8.6% in the second quarter, up from 8.4% in the first quarter, as more consumers shifted their shopping online, according to data from real-estate research firm Reis Inc. REIS -0.90% The highest postrecession vacancy was in the third quarter of 2011, when it hit 9.4%, Reis said.
The shopping slowdown is being felt in all types of brick-and-mortar retail outlets throughout the country. Vacancies in open-air shopping centers, for example, increased during the last quarter in 55 of the 77 metropolitan areas studied by Reis.
The impact is especially severe among strip malls and other neighborhood and community shopping centers, which suffered their worst quarter in nine years. About 3.8 million square feet of space was emptied from April to June, pushing the vacancy rate for this type of mall up to 10.2%, Reis said."