Some good news for shopping centers and malls: While consumers remain wary of being in public spaces due to COVID-19, they’re more inclined to visit a mall now than they were in July.
According to the latest weekly data from Coresight Research, Deborah Weinswig, chief executive officer and founder of the firm, said her company’s weekly poll of shoppers showed that avoidance “of any type of public place remained level at 80 percent this week.”
“We have seen a gradual declining trend in the avoidance of shopping centers/malls, which dropped roughly 10 percentage points this week compared to the peak of two-thirds on July 22,” she said. The report stated that the proportion of respondents “that are currently avoiding shopping centers/malls fell for the third consecutive week to 57 percent.”
Weinswig’s research also revealed that the number of consumers polled who purchase groceries online fell six percentage points in the most recent survey. “In addition, we saw a decline in the proportion of consumers that are currently buying more food online compared to their pre-crisis shopping habits,” she added.
With fashion apparel, the report noted that it “remains the most impacted category.” Weinswig said apparel “demonstrated a slight decline in the number of shoppers that are buying less and a gradual increase in the proportion that are buying more.”
With restaurants, Weinswig said those avoiding “food-service locations bounced back slightly, after declining last week to the lowest level in months.” The report found that 54 percent of respondents are currently “avoiding restaurants, bars and coffee shops, versus 58 percent last week.”
Weinswig said the food-service avoidance rate is “still considered low, compared to the level in July and the beginning of August.”