I agree that many mall operators and big box lessors are not in any position to play hardball.
I also agree that malls will be going bankrupt, but I think these will be the lower tier malls that ANF tends not to lease space from. Specifically, the malls with high vacancy rates.
A new owner will wind up with any bankrupt mall or other commercial building, and will have an incentive to lease any vacant space. This is a positive for any retailer with the financial ability to rent the space or renew a lease, as they ought to be able to negotiate low rents.
Yes, I assumed that lower tier, highly vacant malls would be the ones going bankrupt, but there are other issues (if your mall has a low vacancy rate) that can be negative for even the higher tier malls including: -malls that rely highly on percentages of sales of their tenants in order to be profitable -malls that owners overpaid for during the real estate bubble that took on too much debt -malls that have maturing loans, and that may be able to pay a mortgage at current rates, but have difficulty getting refinancing