Shoppers, many armed with stimulus money, returning to malls in droves

Vaccinated shoppers are heading back to the mall, offering hope that the worst of the pandemic downturn is over for this beleaguered industry, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Foot traffic at a representative sample of 52 malls in March was up 86% from the same month last year, according to mobile device location data from analytics firm Placer.ai. 

While that foot traffic was 24% lower than in March 2019, mall owners are suggesting that their business has turned a corner. Shoppers are eager to get out again, often armed with cash from the latest round of government stimulus checks. Many aren’t just browsing shops but dining out and returning home with bags full of new purchases. 

Daily Report reached out to Mall of Louisiana and Perkins Rowe officials to confirm if there are similar shopping trends locally, but did not get a response in time for this afternoon’s deadline. Louisiana vaccine rates have slipped lower in comparison to other states, The Advocate reports, but many restrictions on businesses, including the statewide mask mandate have been lifted. 

The budding rebound in the mall industry echoes progress made by other types of real estate, such as hotels, that were upended by the pandemic, according to WSJ

Read the full story.