The appeal of malls was concentration. There is no part of the UK as fundamentally empty as the western US: Santa Fe, for example, had a mall with a candy-maker and a JC Penney and a couple clothing stores and a music store and a Cracker Barrel and a couple other things and we would literally drive an hour at 70-80mph to get there. From what I recall of the UK, driving an hour gets you about a quarter of the way across London.
That concentration ceased to matter a lot more before brands and tastes were diluted damn-near homeopathically by the internet.
Last weekend I had me some Gini-coefficient whiplash: I rode the Blue Line through Compton and Watts, past one of the largest dead men walking in indoor malls. Then less than 24 hours later I was at Fashion Island, where we were cut off by a rent-by-the-hour Ferrari California that was procured specifically to appear fabulous at one of the whitest, most plastic surgeried, most over-dressed shopping centers in North America where the reserved seating for Planet of the Apes came with seat-service creme brulee and fruit and cheese plates.
Fashion Island is doing just fine, thanks. The Tesla store was standing room only.