Visits to malls in 2020 peaked in February, and traffic reached its lowest point in April.
According to a study by Placer.ai, a project that gathered information on visits to major shopping centers in the United States based on visitors' cell phones, in December, contrary to earlier assumptions, customer traffic in shopping centers began to increase.
Traditional pre-holiday shopping would shift online in 2020. Most shoppers would be afraid to visit a major mall in the middle of an epidemic. Traffic showed strong growth in December, with many shoppers shopping for gifts in the days before Christmas and New Year's Eve. As the study shows, for many consumers, shopping malls are still a convenient option for shopping, and they are not going to give it up yet.
In all of 2020, mall traffic peaked in February, up 10.7% from 2019 levels. Mall traffic reached its lowest point for the year in April, showing a 95.9% year-over-year decline, and then steadily increased throughout the summer and fall, only to show a decline again in November.
Based on the strong start to the year and the traceable upward trend in traffic for the next few months, experts are optimistic for 2021. The report quotes Ethan Chernofsky, vice president of marketing at Placer.ai, who states that "2021 may be a much more favorable year for shopping centers than many expect." However, it should be taken into account that the study was conducted on the largest and most efficient shopping centers. For many market players, the picture is not very optimistic.
Photo credit: Photogenica.