All the empty little stores and shops have begun to merge with the larger failures in the news (Circuit City, for example) to create whole blocks of dark and empty locations. West Oaks Mall in Ocoee Florida is an example of this.
One whole section of the mall, consisting of a former anchor tenant (Belk) and a number of surrounding stores have all gone dark. The effect is a moody, foreboding atmosphere with no sound to be heard, not even echoes from patrons in the main part of the mall. The perfect setting for a cheesy SciFi movie staring third-terr character actors.
Other stores in the mall, like this JCPenney, have massive non-stop sales to move merchandise. This one has signs at the entrances proclaiming 75% off.
And then there's the continuing going-out-of-business sale of the rest of the Circuit City stores. There are four at least four in metro Orlando. This one is downtown on Highway 50 at the Colonial Plaza mall.
That's the stores that had tenants and business. That doesn't include the growing pool of commercial property that's been sitting empty since they were completed, stretching back to 2007. This economy didn't start mid-2008. This economy has been a long time in the making.