July Was “Far More Positive” Than Expected For Malls
By Marianne Wilson of Chain Store Age.com
Given all the challenges, July was a fairly good month for the nation’s shopping centers.
Visits to malls (includes indoor malls, open-air lifestyle centers and outlet malls) were down year-over-year, but given inflation, gas prices, and the iffy condition of the economy, the numbers were “far more positive than expected,” according to a report by foot traffic analytics firm Placer.ai.
The Placer.ai Mall Indexes – July 2022 Update revealed that July experienced a big increase in visits month-over-month compared to June. Visits were up 7.5% at indoor malls, 7.2% at open-air centers and 23.4% at outlet malls.
Compared to 2021, visits were down year-over-year at all three mall types. But they were only down 1% at open-air lifestyle centers, and 2.7% at indoor malls, which was roughly even with 2021’s numbers. Visits at outlet malls, however, were down 8.5%.
Compared to July 2019, visits are still down — but not nearly as much as you’d expect, noted Placer.ai. Visits in July were down 3.5% at indoor malls, 2.7% at open-air lifestyle centers and 7% at outlet malls compared to July 2019 — a significant improvement over June’s numbers, and considering inflation and gas prices, “surprising,” the report said.
“Looking at the relatively minor declines in July compared to 2019 indicates that the rebound that many top-tier malls have been enjoying could continue and even pick up the pace heading into the holiday retail season,” said Ethan Chernofsky, VP marketing, Placer.ai. “If this holds true, the lack of a true brick-and-mortar retail holiday season in 2021 combined with the more holistic experiences that these centers are built to provide could create a major draw even amid lingering economic concerns.”