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Pre-Holiday Shopping Stats Sluggish

Visits to shopping centers showed a precipitous year-over-year decline, according to statistics released by Metrix showed that indoor mall visits were down 6.4% year over year, while visits to outdoor malls declined by 5.4%. Outdoor outlets showed the steepest decline, dropping by 8.0%.

The report also noted that Black Friday “and the corresponding weekend” experienced visit declines, especially compared to “a pre-pandemic 2019 and even 2021.”

“Black Friday’s former centrality was based on unique deals that could only be found on that given day and the tradition of shopping on that day,” Ethan Chernofsky, vice president of marketing at told Connect CRE. “While the latter trend holds, the rise of the early shopping season and many other retail ‘holidays’ during the same period reduce the need to shop on Black Friday. Seen through this lens, the numbers put up on Black Friday actually seem impressive considering the proliferation of non-Black Friday deal days.”

When asked about year-over-year outlet mall performance, Chernofsky chalked it up to high gas prices. “This limited demand for the longer trip they often require,” he added. “Also, while inflation certainly benefits the value orientation that outlet malls lean into, wider perceptions of limits on ‘deals’ could impact visits.”

The news wasn’t all gloom and doom. November was the second straight month of month-over-month visits for indoor malls, open air lifestyle centers and outlet malls.

Chernofsky is also optimistic that December might see overall increases in shopping destination visits, given the month’s typical historic strength. This could also be the case for those that “focus less on the largest possible audience, and instead aim for the right audience,” he said.

“This shift enables shopping centers and malls of all types to better serve key groups,” Chernofsky went on to say. “The idea of audience targeting is critical and will likely have an ongoing impact on everything from merchandising to the events, and pop-ups to mall launches.”


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