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J.Crew store A J.Crew store closed during the Coronavirus pandemic in Washington, D.C., on June 6, 2020. Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM

This article appeared in New York Real Estate Law Reporter, a monthly newsletter featuring editorial commentary on significant real estate issues in New York and cases decided in the New York courts.

Malls across America, long suffering even before the rise of COVID-19, are now forced to confront a wave of store closures that will inevitably result from current economic and social factors (including social distancing). Troubled retailers will, without doubt, seek to close their failing mall locations. To stem these efforts, landlords have applied to courts for injunctive relief to force stores to remain open and operating, despite lagging sales, through the enforcement of the “continuous operations provision” found in mall leases.

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