Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a account? Log In Mall Index, April 2023 – A Rebound on the Horizon?

Shira Petrack
May 8, 2023 Mall Index, April 2023 – A Rebound on the Horizon?

The tightening of discretionary spending is impacting several retail categories, including the shopping center space. But March 2023 data hinted at the beginning of a rebound, with the three mall formats analyzed – Indoor Malls, Open-Air Lifestyle Centers, and Outlet Malls – seeing a month-over-month (MoM) increase in visits along with a year-over-year (YoY) rise in median dwell times.

Did the positive trend continue in April? We dove into the foot traffic data to find. 

2023 Visits Continue Lagging Behind 2022 Levels

With many consumers still spending cautiously in the face of the wider economic uncertainty, April 2023 mall visits continued to lag behind 2022 levels, with the YoY visit gaps widening for all three formats analyzed. 

Much of the lag is likely due to the current inflationary environment – consumers looking to reduce their spending may be avoiding visiting malls and exposing themselves to their many temptations. Outlet Malls – which saw the largest dip – seem to be particularly impacted due to their relatively out-of-the-way locations, as Americans on a budget may avoid the long drive, and hefty gas consumption, typically required by a trip to an Outlet Mall.

Month-over-Month Trends Provide Some Optimism

Still, despite the widening YoY gaps, MoM traffic data provides some reason for optimism. After a significant MoM visit jump between February and March 2023 – which exceeded the increase in calendar days between the two months – April traffic to Open-Air Lifestyle Centers and Outlet Malls also rose relative to March. Indoor Malls also saw their April 2023 visits stay close to last month’s levels – even though the month has one fewer day.

The relative stability of MoM visits may indicate that – at least among some consumer segments – the tide is beginning to turn. 

Upswing in Late April Traffic 

YoY weekly visit patterns may also signal a possible rebound. 

Following several weeks of widening YoY weekly visit gaps throughout April, the week of April 24th 2023 saw traffic to Indoor Malls, Open-Air Lifestyle Centers, and Outlet Malls down 9.3%, 4.7%, and 12.6%, respectively. These numbers represent significant improvements over the 14.8%, 10.4%, and 22.3% YoY visit gaps of the week before – even though the narrowing visit gap may be partially due to the timing of Easter 2022 compared to Easter 2023.

Leaning into the Mall Experience

Beyond visit numbers, location analytics can also reveal shifting consumer preferences and habits. And foot traffic data for April 2023 indicates that those who are visiting malls may be looking for more than just shopping. 

April 2023 saw a continuation of the YoY increase in dwell time seen in March along with a significant increase in weekend visits relative to both April 2022 and April 2019. Over half of Outlet Mall visits in April 2023 took place over Saturday and Sunday, and Indoor Malls and Open-Air Lifestyle Centers also saw their share of weekend visits grow to 42.8% and 43.4%, respectively. 

The rise in weekend visits may reflect a change in consumers’ relationships with shopping centers. Throughout the 2010s, malls shifted from social hubs where visitors spent hours browsing and hanging out to places consumers visit with specific shopping or eating intentions. But now, with the increase in median dwell time and the rise in weekend visits, that trend may be reversing. This is a further indication that while visits may be declining, the ‘value’ of each visit looks to be increasing with visitors looking to maximize their trips.

Shopping centers are still adapting to changing consumer behavior by offering new experiences, investing in omnichannel, and diversifying their tenant base. And with many Americans feeling increasingly isolated, malls may be on their way to reclaiming their role as a place as a hub for connection and socializing.

For more data-driven retail and commercial real estate insights, visit

Get 3 brand & industry
breakdowns every week

Subscribe to the newsletter

Great! Prepare your inbox for data-driven insights...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Get a Demo

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please provide a valid email
Please enter your email
Please enter company name

Thanks for reaching out!

One of our experts will be in touch soon

Try Free
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Text Link
Indoor Malls
Text Link
Outlet Malls
Text Link
Open-Air Malls
Pent-Up Demand Ahead of October Sales Events
4 Strategies Retailers are Using to Drive Traffic to Their Venues
5 Key Regional Grocery Players Impressing in 2023
Upscale Kitchenware Trending Up
Costco Finds More Room for Growth
Four C-Store Chains Making an A-Grade
National Parks + Outdoor Summer Activities
Diving Into Darden: Summer 2023 Update
The Summer Event Effect
Messi: Massive in Miami
Looking Back on Back to School 2023
The Anchor Recap: August 2023 Office Index: August 2023 Recap Mall Index: August 2023 Recap White Paper Recap: August 2023
Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Strikes Again
Big Scoop: We All Scream For Ice Cream
Sports Away: Lululemon & Nike’s Momentum Continues
Summer Visits Heat Up For Recreation and Outdoor Gear Chains
No CSS overwrite - July 2023 Office Index Recap
Staging - August 2023 Mall Indec
Mid-Atlantic Grocery Deep Dive
Experiential Chains Heating Up This Summer
Petco Goes Big by Going Small
Ulta Beauty: Leading the Discretionary Pack
Discount and Dollar Chains Continue to Thrive
Summer of Sports: DICK’s Sporting Goods and Hibbett Sports
Off-Price: Succeeding Into Summer
The Anchor Recap: July 2023
Superstores Maintaining Pandemic Gains Amidst Economic Headwinds
2023: Home Improvement at the Halfway Point
July 2023 Office Index Recap Mall Index: July 2023 Recap
widget test
The Taylor Swift Visit Lift
Southwestern Grocery Dive
July 2023 White Paper Recap: Halfway Point Review & Quarterly Index
Yum! Brands: Driving Dining Visits
Slurpees and Summer Movies Stimulate Consumer Foot Traffic
Cool Beans: Summer Coffee Update
Checking In on Back to School 2023
Crocs and New Balance Tip The Scales
Burger Bliss: Shake Shack and In-N-Out Stacking Visits
Chipotle & McDonald's Continue to Reign Supreme
Vibenomics and Partner to Enhance Retail Media In-Store Measurement
California Grocers Here We Come!
Marriott’s Different Audiences
Bonchon and Kura Sushi Thrive in the Fast-Casual Scene
A Shoe In: Footwear Climbs to the Top
Cheers! Raising a Glass to Beverage Retail Office Index: June 2023 Recap Mall Index June 2023 Recap – A Turn of the Tide and a Dive into Open-Air Lifestyle Centers
Local Kitchens: Redefining the Restaurant
Unlocking Urban Insights: The Value in Manhattan’s Employees
Ohio State Parks On The Rise
How is Inflation Impacting the High-Income Shoppers?
Five Fast-Growing Dining Chains
What To Expect From Prime Day and July Sales Events in 2023
The State Of Fashion: How Are Apparel Retailers Faring in 2023?
2023’s Latest Dining Success Story: GEN Korean BBQ House
The NBA Finals: A Location Intelligence Perspective
Moving the Market: The Impact of Domestic Migration on Housing Costs
Post-Pandemic Museum Update
The Darden-est Things
The Enduring Demand for Urban and Suburban Retail
Leveraging Data to Evaluate the Impact of Municipal Investments
Trader Joe's Success Amidst Food Inflation and Changing Consumer Behavior Office Index: May 2023 Recap
Fitness at its Fittest: Staying Strong in 2023
Movie Theaters, Off-Price, and Home Improvement: May 2023 Recap Mall Index - May 2023 Recap
What’s Working for Bath & Body Works?
Why Are Specialty Grocers Thriving in 2023?
The CAVA Craze: A Location Intelligence Perspective on the Mediterranean Marvel
How Will Primark’s US Expansion Impact Target?
All Eyes on Eyewear
Northwestern U.S. Grocery Dive
Return of the Lunch: Salad Chains Are Thriving
Retail Media Networks – Off the Beaten Track
Bet Your Bottom Dollar: Discount and Dollar Stores Drive Foot Traffic
Ulta & Lululemon: Discretionary Spending On The Up
The Score After Q1: Sporting Goods Chains
Who Uses NYC Airports: Biting Into The Big Apple’s Main Transport Hubs
Off Price: Strength in The Face of Retail Challenges
Visits Improve for Home Improvement
Walmart, Target & Wholesalers in Q1 2023 – The Return of Mission-Driven Shopping?
Department Store Roundup: Q1 2023 Office Index: April 2023 Recap Mall Index, April 2023 – A Rebound on the Horizon?
How Will Bed Bath & Beyond’s Bankruptcy Impact the Retail Space?
Buffet Restaurants: Filling Up on Foot Traffic
Thrift Stores: Vintage Visits Drive New Age in Apparel
The Windy City: A Hub of Post-Pandemic Opportunity
Diving into Dining Traffic - Q1 2023
Bring On The Joe
A Dollar (or more) For Your Thoughts: Five Below and pOpshelf
Dining Out With The Cheesecake Factory
Retail Foot Traffic Recap – March 2023
Digging Into 2023: McDonald’s and Chipotle Update Office Index: March 2023 Recap