In a typical year, the holidays are peak season for malls — but this isn’t a typical year, and shopping centers that have already been hurt by the pandemic will continue to feel the economic crunch in the leadup to the holiday shopping season.
Only 45 percent of shoppers plan to visit a mall to do some or all of their holiday shopping, down from 64 percent last year, Bloomberg reported, citing data from a survey by the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Consumers will still be shopping, and about 80 percent of respondents said they still planned to spend money in a physical store. But many said they’d patronize small businesses instead of larger shopping centers.
More than half of respondents said that sales would affect their holiday purchases, and many plan to shop online this year.
More than three-quarters of respondents said they expected to start shopping earlier than usual. The survey was based on responses from more than 1,000 U.S. shoppers between Sept. 28 and 30.
“We have to look at this year somewhat in isolation,” ICSC CEO Tom McGee said in an interview with Bloomberg. “We’re in the midst of a pandemic and that’s clearly going to temper people’s appetite for going out to public spaces.”
Traffic at the country’s largest malls dropped 51 percent in the first eight months of 2020 compared to the same period last year, according to data Placer.ai provided to The Real Deal. [Bloomberg] — Sasha Jones