Retailers vacated US shopping centres at the fastest pace in at least nine years in the second quarter as the relentless rise of online shopping and collapse of debt-laden chains begin to hit the commercial property market.

More than 7,400 store closures have been announced this year, with Sears, Victoria's Secret and Charlotte Russe among a raft of household names to shut outlets in malls across the country.

Robust consumer spending has supported better-performing chains, while landlords have found alternative uses for some vacant shopping centre sites, from storage spaces to hotels. Record low construction of new retail space has

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