Placer.ai predicts resurgence of shopping malls in 2021

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Placer.ai predicts resurgence of shopping malls in 2021

By Marianne Wilson - 12/30/2020

Watch out for Kohl’s, Dollar General and HomeGoods in 2021. 

That’s according to a report by foot traffic analytics platform Placer.ai that contains early predictions on retail winners in the new year. The report also contains a surprisingly bullish position on shopping malls.

Though foot traffic was down significantly at shopping malls in 2020, shoppers will be itching to get out and spend money in 2021 — which will likely work in malls’ favor, according to Placer.ai.  And with many malls evolving (adding gyms, for example), there’s reason to think that shopping malls will stage a comeback.

“There are lots of factors working in the favor of malls in 2021,” said Ethan Chernofsky, VP, marketing, Placer.ai. “Firstly, people miss them. When shopping was open, visitors came back and if COVID comes under control in early 2021, the impact on malls could be massive.”

Also, the retail mix inside of them is changing. “This is creating more diversity in malls, and therefore, more complementary interactions between malls that could create a bigger overall pie,” Chernofsky explained. 

Finally, it feels like mall owners are ready to get aggressive and creative, he added. From Simon buying J.C. Penney to major renovations at top malls bringing more office and residential into the mix, to the aforementioned changes to tenant mix – COVID may actually bring a long term positive to the sector.

“By forcing adaptation and evolution, malls could end up stronger in the coming years than they were before,” Chernosky said. “And while top tier malls were actually up year-over-year in January and February of 2020, even struggling malls could benefit strongly from a ‘redefinition’. If this trend starts to show signs of taking place, expect a powerful surge for the wider space.”

To read the full Placer.ai report, “2021 Winners – Early Predictions,” click here.