“Foot traffic at some of the best shopping centers across the country peaked around August 2018 and has since started to fall, after rebounding for much of last year, according to a new report from data analytics firm Thasos, which uses more than 100 million mobile phones to track when consumers enter and leave certain trade areas,” Lauren Thomas reports for CNBC. “The good news for a lot of malls was that many retailers made a ‘comeback’ and were able to draw in more shoppers by using promotions in 2018, John Collins, Thasos co-founder and chief product officer, said. ‘But if you’re selling merchandise at a loss, you can only do that for so long.'”

“As retailers are now starting to talk about pulling back on discounting, this could be one reason why traffic is dropping at malls, he said, in addition to the fact that some purchases are moving online,” Thomas reports. “U.S. retailers so far have announced they will shut 5,994 stores, while opening 2,641, according to real estate tracking done by Coresight Research. That’s more locations slated to go dark than during last year. In 2018, there were 5,864 closures announced and 3,239 openings, Coresight said… ‘I expect store closures to accelerate in 2019, hitting some 12,000 by year end,’ Deborah Weinswig, founder and CEO of Coresight, said.”

Thasos “found malls with so-called experiential tenants that aren’t just focused on selling products, like Apple, Italian food hall Eataly and Tesla, haven’t been drawing in extra traffic. Up until the final three months of 2018, indoor shopping malls with “experiential” tenants didn’t benefit from greater shopper traffic on a year-over-year basis when compared with indoor malls without any of those unique, nonapparel tenants, Thasos said,” Thomas reports. “With more store closures likely on the horizon, consumers can expect to start seeing hotels, gyms, apartment complexes, more food halls and grocery stores at traditional malls, turning them into more like city centers.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Why deal with the mall “experience” when Amazon will have it on your doorstep tomorrow, likely for less?

As for Apple Stores, especially the mall stores, what used to be a draw have become something to be avoided for years now due to overcrowding of what seems mainly to be people dealing with broken iPhones competing with people straining to hear free courses due to poor/no acoustical design by Apple interior designers, and asinine wooden boxes strewn about for “seating,” to name just three repellents.