Last year, we looked retrospectively in early January to see which indoor and open-air malls received the most holiday traffic in the U.S. in November-December 2022. Now, we’ll take a look to see how October traffic is shaping up at these malls compared to last year. After a fairly robust year-over-year increase for most of the indoor malls in June and July, we begin to see some signs of lagging come late summer and early fall. Valley Fair has been a strong performer the past six months. Woodfield Mall is the only indoor mall showing a strong positive inflection for October 2023 year-over-year.
We wondered if this increased variance might be related to any COVID-induced dips in prior years, so we looked at pre-pandemic traffic to compare visitation. This analysis in fact reveals that Irvine Spectrum and Westfield UTC have not only recovered from pre-COVID levels but are currently surpassing them.
Looking at the trade area comparing visitors from May-October 2019 (blue) versus May-October 2023 (red), we see that the trade area has expanded north, thus drawing from a larger population of shoppers.
And indeed, the trade area has increased by about 65 square miles.