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Retail apocalypse watch: Apple and Tesla won’t save dying malls

Retail apocalypse watch: Apple and Tesla won’t save dying malls
[Photos: Flickr user Achim Hepp; Flickr user Paul Swansen]

While Apple and Tesla are some of the hottest brands around, even they can’t stop the mallpocalypse. Not even Eataly’s promise of wine, cheese, and freshly made focaccia can get people to malls, it seems.

Analytics firm Thasos has just released a new report revealing that foot traffic at U.S. malls has been dropping since last August, save for a small uptick during the holidays, CNBC first reported.

Thasos used mobile phone data to track when consumers enter and leave certain trade areas, which is creepy as hell, but also provides a good idea of who is shopping and when. And things don’t look good based on its analysis of more than 100 million phones.

While landlords are courting notably strong brands like Apple and Tesla by offering them sweetheart lease deals in the hopes of increasing consumer traffic, it may not be a good investment. Thasos’s data shows that the big-name stores and so-called experiential tenants like Italian food marketplace Eataly, which don’t use their brick-and-mortar locations to just sell products, aren’t luring in customers at a rate that would make it worthwhile for landlords as they reportedly haven’t been drawing in extra traffic.

According to CNBC, “indoor shopping malls with ‘experiential’ tenants didn’t benefit from greater shopper traffic on a year-over-year basis when compared with indoor malls without any of those unique, nonapparel tenants.”

In addition to Thasos’s data, Coresight Research’s real estate tracking reports that just four months into 2019, U.S. retailers have announced they will shut 5,994 stores, while opening just 2,641. And the retail apocalypse continues….

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