Mall traffic up with teens

Reports of the shopping mall's death are apparently greatly exaggerated. Visits by teens and young adults ticked up this year from 2015, according to a new report by William Blair.

Roughly 41 percent of respondents to a survey reported visiting the mall more frequently in 2016, and just 37 percent said they went less. It's the first time this number increased since 2013.

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The mall remains a popular meeting place for teens – 24 percent said it was the most popular, with movie theaters and restaurants second at 21 percent each.

“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 noted.

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Malls are adding new entertainment features, restaurants and technology to attract shoppers, particularly younger customers. While the report is promising, predictions are for many more regional malls to close in coming years as teen retailers and other mall-based brands continue to struggle.

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