Mall Traffic Is Actually Increasing Among Teens, According To A Major Survey
It’s no secret that brick-and-mortar retailers have been struggling to compete with the likes of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and other e-commerce names in recent years. In fact, teen retailers Wet Seal, American Apparel, Pacific Sunwear and Aeropostale Inc (OTC: AROPQ) have all succumbed to bankruptcy within the past year.
According to a new William Blair survey of teens and young adults, teens are visiting malls more in 2016 than they were in 2015.
William Blair found that 41 percent of respondents have visited malls more frequently in 2016, while only 37 percent report visiting malls less frequently. This year’s results mark the first uptick in teen mall visitation since 2013.
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Perhaps even more surprising, teens indicated that the mall (24 percent) was the most popular place for them to meet with friends, beating out movie theaters (21 percent), restaurants (21 percent) and sports clubs/extracurricular activities (10 percent).
“While overall mall traffic remains challenging, our survey this year noted a material increase in the number of respondents who indicated they are visiting malls more often than last year, perhaps suggesting that malls’ efforts to increase relevancy (through more experiential brands and the addition of attractive entertainment and dining options) are beginning to bear fruit,” analyst Sharon Zackfia explains.
If the survey’s 2016 trends continue in coming years, it could be huge for all mall retailers, but particularly those targeting the teen demographic.
So far this year, Abercrombie & Fitch shares are down 35.4 percent, while American Eagle stock is up 17.7 percent.
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