Foot traffic at malls was within 30% of 2019's tally in October, according to data from Placer.ai, marking the best reading since February. That number worsened in November before rebounding in December, when foot traffic was off 32.4% on a year-over-year basis. "Placer.ai's team thinks that 2021 could be a big year for malls, as customers are itching to get out and shop," the report notes.
Some retail landlords have granted more concessions to keep from losing tenants during the pandemic, according to commercial property experts. To stave off evictions and rising vacancy rates, property owners are offering to change payment terms and lease lengths, reduce rents and sometimes forgive past-due payments.
In some cases, real estate companies that believe their properties aren't accurately valued on public markets are pursuing share buybacks or potential privatizations. Examples of the trend include SL Green's recent move to increase its share buyback program and Brookfield Asset Management's offer to buy the remainder of Brookfield Property Partners.
Trademark Property Company will move forward with plans first approved by the Alpharetta, Ga., City Council in 2019 to redevelop North Point Mall into a mixed-use property. The New York Life Insurance Company, which assumed ownership of the large Atlanta-area mall from Brookfield Property, hired Trademark Property.
Target's pandemic-year growth continued during the holiday season, with same-store sales rising 17% in November and December, fueled by a 102% surge in digital sales, the retailer reported. Shoppers spent an average of 12% more per shopping trip during the holidays and made use of same-day shopping options including curbside pickup.
Victoria's Secret is offering plus-size products but has reduced the number of items it sells to attract new customers to its stores, which are located primarily in malls. More than 200 stores closed last year as the company struggled with an image problem and declining mall foot traffic.
Executives with clothing retailer Christopher & Banks say they may close all of their stores and are looking for a buyer for its online business after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Thursday. The company's financial woes are the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, executives said.