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Placer.ai Mall Index: June 2024 Recap

by 
Maytal Cohen
 on 
July 9, 2024
Placer.ai Mall Index: June 2024 Recap

About the Mall Index: The Index analyzes data from 100 top-tier indoor malls, 100 open-air shopping centers (not including outlet malls) and 100 outlet malls across the country, in both urban and suburban areas. Placer.ai uses de-identified location information from a panel of tens of million devices and processes the data using industry-leading AI and machine learning capabilities to make estimations about overall visits to specific locations. 

How did indoor malls, open-air shopping centers, and outlet malls fare in June 2024? We dove into the data to find out. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Mall visits remained strong in June, especially during the week of June 17th – when a heat wave drove a rise in year-over-year (YoY) visits for all three mall types. 
  • Mall visits are driven, in part, by seasonality: All three mall types experience summer visit boosts, with outlet malls seeing the biggest spikes.  
  • Mall dwell time patterns also have a seasonal element – with people spending more time browsing the shops in summer and during holiday shopping seasons. 

Weekly Mall Visits Peak with Summer Heat

Fresh on the heels of May’s strong showing, malls continued to impress in June 2024. Weekly year-over-year (YoY) visits to all three mall types (indoor malls, open-air shopping centers, and outlet malls) remained robust throughout the month, as shoppers took advantage of the warm weather to go shopping. 

YoY foot traffic to malls was especially high during the week of June 17th – when a record-breaking heat wave likely drove shoppers to seek refuge in air-conditioned spaces – including both malls and individual stores. During that week, indoor malls, open-air shopping centers, and outlet malls saw YoY visit increases of 9.4%, 9.9%, and 4.5%, respectively.

Outlet Malls are on the Brink of Their Seasonal Peak

Malls’ positive June performance appears to herald a strong summer shopping season for the sector – which tends to draw larger crowds in summer months. 

Comparing monthly mall visits to a January 2019 baseline shows that all three mall types experience substantial summer foot traffic boosts. For indoor malls and open-air shopping centers, the summer foot traffic increases – though significant – pale in comparison to those of the holiday season. But for outlet malls, the July and August foot traffic spikes rival those seen in December. 

Outlet malls’ special summertime opportunity may be driven by a variety of factors. People may have more time to travel to outlet malls during summer vacations and may be more inclined to embrace the experience of a leisurely shopping day trip when the weather is warm. College students and parents eager to find back-to-school deals may also flock to outlet malls in July and August as they gear up for the academic year.   

And with such a strong June under their belts, outlet malls – as well as indoor malls and open-air shopping centers – appear poised for a successful summer indeed. 

Mall Visits Grow Longer as Shoppers Escape the Heat

The warm summer months not only bring more shoppers to malls, but also lead to longer visits. Analyzing monthly shifts in malls’ average visit durations since May 2023 shows that like foot traffic, mall dwell time also has a seasonal element – with people staying longer during holiday shopping seasons, as well as in the summer. Visit durations peak in July, and then again in November and December – with smaller jumps seen in March, likely a result of Easter and Spring Break. 

And looking more closely at dwell time trends over the past six months shows that since the beginning of 2024, mall visit length increased slightly each month for all three mall types. June 2024 average visit durations to indoor malls, open-air shopping centers, and outlet malls were 1.9, 1.3, and 3.1 minutes longer, respectively, than in January 2024. While these differences are subtle, the consistency of the shift is striking – and considering that the averages are derived from millions of visits to hundreds of malls, it reflects a significant trend. 

Looking Ahead

As the temperatures warm up, shoppers are happy to hit the mall. All three mall types saw a strong June, indicating a promising summer ahead. 

Will July and August meet these high expectations for shopping malls across the country?

Visit our blog at placer.ai to find out.

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