What is the future for malls in America? The COVID pandemic had a major impact on retail shopping, but were consumers already looking for new types of experiences? This intersection of reactive pandemic responses and an acceleration of existing mall retail trends is reaching an inflection point, as the percentage of shoppers that are “very concerned” with in-store risks dropped to 16%, down from 29% in April 2020.
This foot traffic led to a successful Q1 for the U.S. mall footprint, reflected in Q1 numbers for Simon Property Group, the largest U.S. mall operator. Despite the increase of mall shopping in the first part of 2021, though, many mall locations are being razed or converted into fulfillment centers for retailers like Amazon.