Shopping Malls Are on the Rebound as America Reopens

Beautiful female walking and shopping in mall.
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Consumers are returning to shopping malls looking to spend. Simon Property Group, a real estate investment trust that invests in shopping malls, outlet centers and community/lifestyle centers, saw sales return to pre-pandemic levels in its second fiscal quarter.

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“I am pleased with the profitability and substantial improvement in cash flow that were generated in the second quarter,” said David Simon, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President in the company’s second-quarter earnings call on Monday. “We are encouraged by the increase in our shopper traffic, retailer sales and leasing activity.”

Simon told analysts Monday that retail sales at its properties in June were comparable to June 2019 levels, and up 80% from a year earlier, reports CNBC. He added that parts of the U.S. saw sales higher than 2019 levels. MarketBeat also noted that SPG stock is up over 100% in the last 12 months, and 53% in 2021 alone.

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Amid shutdowns and social distancing requirements, SPG bought up bankrupt retailers in an effort to keep tenants on its properties, MarketBeat reported. “We still have a hole to dig out of because of the bankruptcies that we had to confront during the pandemic,” said Simon, as reported by CNBC. “But I’m very pleased with the activity.”

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The world saw a massive shift from brick-and-mortar shopping to e-commerce, and MarketBeat reported that this is only likely to grow. However, analysts expect the death of the shopping mall to take longer than anticipated. Meanwhile, SPG is looking at ways to reimagine the mall space to make them more of a destination, added MarketBeat; seen from its recent partnership with Lifetime Fitness in 20 locations throughout the country.

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Simon shares were up nearly 3% in extended trading, according to CNBC. The stock has risen more than 48% year-to-date and SPG has a market capitalization of $41.5 billion.

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Last updated: August 3, 2021

About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.

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