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April traffic report is optimistic about top-tier malls regaining their stature

Al Urbanski
Class A mall traffic in April was within 20% of what it was in April 2019.

PREIT CEO Joe Coradino, who filed for Chapter 11 and emerged from it within a month late last year, has a “winner-take-all” theory that lesser malls will close in most markets and better malls will capture their customers and flourish. A new report from appears to agree with him.

The foot traffic analytics company hand-picked 52 viable Class A malls of similar caliber and have followed their customer flows through the pandemic. Traffic across the malls in March was just 23.7% off numbers from the same month in 2019. The company’s April report released this week shows the margin closed even tighter to 18.7%.

“This is the strongest mark the index has seen since the pandemic began, and another sign that the retail recovery is already in progress,” said marketing VP Ethan Chernofsky. “It also further deepens the optimism around top tier malls and their ability to anchor key retail expansions moving forward.” decided to move its year-over-year mall comparisons to a 2021-over-2019 dynamic and track pre-pandemic market reclamation. It deemed comparing present traffic reports to last year as meaningless. With most malls shut down a year ago, April ’21 traffic tracked nearly 4000% higher than April ’20.

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