What Foot Traffic Says About Post-Pandemic Retail

With footfall down 49.3% (compared to the nearly flat 0.4% last year), normally well-performing malls are set to emerge from the pandemic ready to retool leases and invite in a new mix of tenants, including non-retail businesses, according to research on 16 malls from foot traffic analytics firm Placer.ai. Also among the pandemic-induced trends that Placer.ai researchers expect to endure is the boom enjoyed by value-oriented retailers like dollar stores, off-pricers, warehouse clubs, Walmart and Target, which all sustained traffic surges this year, according to the report, emailed Tuesday. Less sure, but very possible, is the potential for working from home to stick. That plus an exodus from cities — New York’s Upper East Side had a 42% population drop by October, for example — could dramatically alter the retail mix on suburban streets and at shopping centers, Placer.ai said. Read more at Retail Dive.