This was from October of 2008 - things are much worse now: The Fall of the Mall By LEFTLOFT What does a recession look like? Well, hereâs one view, as seen through retail sales. The theoretical mall maps below show 27 companies with stores or restaurants in malls across America. (In some cases, these companies own more than one chain of stores.) In the bottom map, the change in the size of the stores is determined by sales in the first quarter of 2009 as compared to the same quarter in the previous year. Color in the bottom map is meant to indicate the depth of the drop â or the height of the rise â in sales. The deeper the red, the steeper the loss.