1. Greater Diversity Among Mall Tenants
Tenant diversity will be taken to the next level in 2024. Malls will need to continue to craft spaces that go beyond just storefronts and create a community center that fosters social interaction. Malls with a mix of diverse activities, experiences, storefronts and dining options have seen a boost in overall retail performance.
Park Central Mall – the state’s first open-air shopping center – was also redesigned as a mixed-use development Park Central. The complex includes restaurants, office space, medical facilities, and bioscience research labs, with more hospitality and housing under construction. Between 2022 and 2023, foot traffic to Park Central increased by 32.8% while median dwell time grew from 75 to 80 minutes.
Fenton, a mixed-use district in Cary, N.C., opened in June 2022. The retail and entertainment village includes shops, restaurants, seasonal attractions, entertainment venues, and other diverse offerings that are establishing Fenton as a community hub and a prime destination for residents. Visits were up 53.2% between July and December 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.
2. Higher-Income Visitors Likely to Drive Mall Visit Growth in 2024
The end of last year showcased a trend in luxury shopping and high-income shoppers. In 2024, these high-income shoppers are predicted to continue to display significantly stronger consumer confidence than middle-income consumers.
Households in the potential market trade areas of Indoor Malls, Open-Air Lifestyle Centers, and Outlet Malls tended to have higher incomes relative to the nationwide median. This means that many of these malls are located within relatively affluent communities and attract the higher-income shoppers within those areas.
3. Malls Will Continue Attracting Younger Shoppers
Shopping centers have once again become the hot spot for younger consumers. So much so, that retail experts are saying that Gen Z has played a major role in the rebound of malls in the past few years. This is predicted to continue throughout 2024.
Gen-Z shoppers will continue to rediscover physical stores and seek out a sense of community that malls provide. As this grows, so will the rate of younger shoppers visiting malls in 2024.
Last year ended on a high note with a surge in consumer confidence. Looking ahead, 2024 is predicted to bring a positive shift to malls and the entire retail landscape.