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An Upbeat Outlook for Many Shopping Malls

Having a grocery anchor is almost always a boost .

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Although foot traffic in U.S. malls has dipped slightly over the years, visits have not dropped as dramatically as predicted. So who is still visiting malls? How do shopping centers visits today differ from pre-pandemic trends? And which type of mall was most popular among mall visitors?

Those questions are explored in a new white paper from Placer.ai titled “Navigating a Changing Mall: Analyzing Consumer Behavior.”

“Pandemic restrictions had a profound impact on malls,” the study’s introduction notes. “Online shopping soared, and predictions of the end of malls led many popular mall-based brands to press on reconfiguring their store fleet and redirect their focus to off-mall venues. But despite the extreme rhetoric surrounding the future of malls, mall traffic has rebounded, with year-over-three-year visit gaps for all four shopping center segments [top-tier indoor malls, open-air lifestyle centers, outlet malls and grocery-anchored centers] analyzed narrowing below 10 percent.”

Here are a half-dozen key takeaways from the study:

  • Regional inflation correlates with shopping center visit trends;
  • Different shopping center types have different COVID recovery rates;
  • Different shopping center types have different visitor journeys and different hourly and daily visit-distribution patterns;
  • Different shopping centers types have different seasonal visitation patterns;
  • Each shopping center type has its own path forward;
  • Grocery anchors virtually always drive more shopping center visits.

Click here to register to gain access to the full report.

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