It's only April, but already this year more store closures — nearly 6,000 — have been announced than in all of 2018.
That surely isn't helping mall owners.
Foot traffic at some of the best shopping centers across the country peaked around August 2018 and has since started to fall, after rebounding for much of last year, according to a new report from data analytics firm Thasos, which uses more than 100 million mobile phones to track when consumers enter and leave certain trade areas.
The good news for a lot of malls was that many retailers made a "comeback" and were able to draw in more shoppers by using promotions in 2018, John Collins, Thasos co-founder and chief product officer, said. "But if you're selling merchandise at a loss, you can only do that for so long."
As retailers are now starting to talk about pulling back on discounting, this could be one reason why traffic is dropping at malls, he said, in addition to the fact that some purchases are moving online. Another issue is landlords have been hoping that offering shoppers new experiences would make it more exciting to go to the mall, but the early evidence isn't showing a boost in activity.
[Tell us, readers-- why is mall traffic down?]