Coronavirus Is Already Impacting Malls

Growing unease around the spread of COVID-19, a disease caused by a member of the coronavirus family, is already keeping people from public spaces and thinning store traffic, according to a report last week from Coresight Research. Some 27.5% of U.S. respondents told Coresight that they’re avoiding public areas at least to some extent, and 58% plan to if the outbreak worsens here, Coresight found. Of those who have altered their routines, more than 40% say they are “avoiding or limiting visits to shopping centers/malls” and more than 30% are avoiding stores in general, according to the report. Shopping centers and malls are the third most likely to be shunned, just behind public transportation and international travel, Coresight said. For those most likely to change their daily habits if the situation gets worse, avoiding malls becomes their first priority, with 74.6% expecting to limit such visits. Other shopping, like grocery shopping, is less vulnerable, “although over half of avoiders could steer clear of, or reduce their visits to, retail stores,” Coresight said. Read more at Retail Dive.