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How Northeast Ohio's malls are making changes to stay afloat

The viability of malls is in jeopardy as online shopping continues to takeover retail.

MENTOR, Ohio — Malls are changing at a rapid pace. Some evolving, while others close their doors. 

Chapel Hill Mall in Akron is the latest on the brink of collapse after JCPenney announced it will close in April.

RELATED: JCPenney to close store at Chapel Hill Mall in Akron this April

RELATED: Summit County set to begin foreclosure proceedings against Chapel Hill Mall

"We're seeing less and less retail now. It's global. Retailers are filing for bankruptcy," says Kate Miller of Great Lakes Mall in Mentor. 

Macy's recently announced they will be closing more than 100 stores as malls look for ways to attract shoppers. 

RELATED: Macy's to close over 100 stores, shed about 2,000 corporate jobs

One way is to shift your offerings. 

"What we've been doing is trying to stay ahead of the curve and adding in more dining and entertainment options for our customers," says Miller. 

At Great Lakes Mall, Round 1 Entertainment replaced Dillard's, attracting a new crowd to supplement typical mall traffic. The mall also offers a Farmers Market on Fridays and a small place to enjoy ping-pong and cornhole called 'The Yard.'

RELATED: Great Lakes Mall to host indoor farmers market on Fridays this winter

Other malls are making changes, too.

At Midway Mall in Elyria, you can buy a motorcycle, ATV, or some other exotic vehicle at Johnny K's Powersports, which took over an empty Macy's location. 

RELATED: Best Buy in Elyria set to close

Heading over to Beachwood Place Mall? They're planning a totally new outdoor connector to add to the shopping experience, featuring a theater area and food trucks. 

RELATED: Emails reveal new plans for Beachwood Place

In Richmond Heights, they want you to stay the night! They're looking to add nearly $90 million worth of apartments to what is now Richmond Town Square property to create a 'live where you play' kind of environment to rival the likes of Crocker Park on the west side and Pinecrest on the east. 

At Great Lakes Mall, the shift to retail-only seems to be working. 

"Our goal is to create dynamic shopping experiences that the whole community can enjoy," says Miller.  

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