Emboldened by vaccines and lower rates of new cases, shoppers are flocking back to malls, writes Laurie Foti for the WorldNewsEra.
“Between being cooped up, between being locked down, between the stimulus, between celebrating that the country is still around,” said CEO David Simon, “there’s clearly some level of euphoria around that.”
However, the biggest mall owner in the country is still conservative about its outlook as it is hard to predict what traffic trends will be like a year from now. There are some areas in the country, such as California and New York, where traffic still remains depressed.
Additionally, international tourism has still not returned to malls and outlet centers.
Simon saw its total revenue drop from $1.35 billion to $1.24 billion over the past year. Vacancies have also increased. Simon reported an occupancy rate across its malls and outlet centers of 90.8 percent, compared to 94 percent in the previous year.