Shopping malls continue downward spiral as smaller stores quietly disappear

(FOX Business) -- There is no doubt that 2017 was a tough year for most retailers as many of the country's most prominent retailers announced the shuttering of some brick-and-mortar stores.

Big retailers like Wet Seal, BCBG, The Limited, Aeropostale, and Bebe all made announcements that it will be closing some--and a few said all--of their doors in select malls. While the news made shockwaves in the retail industry, many of the smaller retail chains choose a different route and quietly disappeared, according to new analysis from Green Street Advisors.

Green Street said of the 2,468 in-line stores that closed in 2017--which excludes department stores--979 closings weren't even announced.

"While some of these brands have publicized their closures, others have been doing so more quietly by choosing not to renew expiring leases. Given that in-line tenants have a higher rent per square foot burden and have shorter lease terms, these trends will often occur long before any anchor store closing announcements," wrote Jim Sullivan, president of Green Street Advisors.