Here’s Why Malls Have Been Mauled

Published on: 02/22/2022

In this edition of Chart Talk, Tony Ogorek and Jeff Viksjo discuss whether shopping malls will come back to their former glory or if they have seen their day.




Welcome to another edition of Chart Talk.  I’m Tony Ogorek. I am here with Portfolio Manager Jeff Viksjo.  And today, Jeff, we’re going to be talking about malls.  Have they seen their day or is it possible that they can come back to their days of former glory?  So, we’ve got a chart here which is rather interesting, it takes a look at foot traffic pre-pandemic comparing with what was happening in 2021.  Interesting look at things, what do you see here?



2020 was the year the pandemic started and so we all stayed home and bought things online.  So, of course foot traffic to retail stores fell significantly.  But 2021 was supposed to be the bounce back year, the return to normal. And what this chart is showing you, is 2021 versus pre-pandemic levels, foot traffic to malls is still down significantly.  So basically, I think last year we were home, we bought things online, we liked it so much we continued doing it.



You know what’s interesting Jeff is, we all tend to be creatures of habit, and what shopping online did is it freed up a lot of time for people, because we end up having people delivering stuff to your house rather than you going to the place that has it.  So, my question is, do you think people’s habits are going to change once the pandemic fades away, or do you think this is going to be, sort of, a permanent state of affairs?



I think it’s permanent because I think it started even before the pandemic. So, a lot of companies, they have adapted, and they’ve enhanced their online business.  Certainly, the malls are in a difficult spot.



So basically, you’re saying that this has really accelerated a trend that was in place even before the pandemic. Interesting.

All right, thank you Jeff and thank you for joining us for this edition of Chart Talk.



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