BUTTE, Mont. — With each passing year e-commerce takes a bigger toll on brick and mortar stores and shopping malls.
“Retail is changing quite rapidly,” said Butte Plaza Mall operations manager Alana Ferko.
In recent years the Butte Plaza Mall has seen the closing of many department stores. This month it will lose its last anchor store when Herberger’s goes out of business.
“Unfortunately, when you don’t have the variety for people, they will go somewhere else,” said Ferko.
The mall once had 40 stores. That number has been cut in half. Of the 20 stores remaining, over half of them are locally owned.
"You don't find very many malls that cater to local mom and pops, but they really are the flavor of Butte,” said Ferko.
With back-to- school time approaching and a lack of options, some residents are finding it difficult to shop for school clothes locally.
High school student Brynlee Nielson said she did some school clothes shopping while on vacation.
"It's hard. We have to go out of town. I just got back from Salt Lake, so I got a little bit done there, but I might have to go over to Missoula still,” said Nielson.
The mall is having a back-to- school event this Saturday. The event will include stores in the mall as well as other local Butte businesses.
"We want to promote Butte shopping, not just mall shopping -- just to keep the dollars local,” Ferko said.