After the surge in online shopping, many locals optimistic about the future of the mall | Business
For years, malls have been the primary place people shop, but after a year in which many have been forced to shop online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some are wondering whether consumption habits have changed.
One of the largest shopping center owners in the United States, Washington Prime Group, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sunday evening. In St. Joseph, Sabrena Housman, general manager of East Hills Mall, said that while the past year has been difficult, she remains optimistic about the future of the malls.
“Well, the mall is not dying. We’re still awesome and successful, “Housman said.” Unfortunately some stores have closed due to COVID and the pandemic and it has cost some of them more money than they expected. , but we still have good traffic and all of our stores are doing good volume and a lot of money.
Some customers at the mall, like Aneshea Quarles, who was shopping in East Hills this week, said the malls will need to do work to bring people back.
“I think if they had more stores that weren’t more suitable for teenagers but young adults, they would definitely come back to where they were,” Quarles said.
Although there are fewer stores in the mall right now, Housman said the number of people entering has returned to normal after the pandemic.
“We’re starting to see traffic pick up, we’re getting closer, we’re actually already at last year’s traffic numbers,” Housman said. they arrive.”
Mary Kariker, a sales associate at Kristen’s Coin and Jewelry, which is located in East Hills, said that while some businesses have left, that doesn’t mean the mall isn’t a thriving place.
“Things are going to move but then things are going to come in,” Kariker said. “A lot of the closures that took place in the mall were because the actual company shut down these businesses, not because they weren’t performing well. So it was because of the pandemic that a few stores closed and many of people just assumed the mall was not working well, but it actually is. ”
Housman said East Hills is planning to have sales and special events this summer to attract people who may not have come recently. She added that the mall staff are actively recruiting new tenants.