Placer.ai’s most recent data index showed a clear pathway for the rebound of mall traffic in 2021. Monthly mall visits have skewed over the past year, however there’s been a consistent rise over the last few months. March presented a breakthrough in visits with an 86% increase year-over-year.
The data in 2021 can be closely compared to 2019 numbers, pre-pandemic. This displays a clear sense of optimism for brick-and-mortar retail as a post-pandemic future arrives.
Weekly data for malls shows that visits consistently rose from the week before. Visits the weeks of March 15 and 22 were 19.1% higher than the two weeks prior. Both of these weeks marked high points for 2021.
A recent study conducted by IBM’s Institute for Business Value found that 73% of consumers who frequently visit shopping centers will return again after they have been vaccinated. The two categories that will see the most in-store traffic are toys, game and hobbies and apparel, footwear and accessories. In-store promotions will be the most compelling factor to drive shoppers to stores – especially Gen X.
Retail’s continued capacity to rebound quickly shows its strength in the sector, and explains why consumers are craving human interaction and returning to malls.