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More Teens Are Visiting Malls This Year

Despite sluggish sales at brick-and-mortar stores, many young adult retailers, including American Eagle and Abercrombie & Fitch, are in for a sweet surprise as more teens frequent malls this year.

A new William Blair teen survey discovered that mall traffic is increasing among teens in 2016, compared to 2015, Benzinga reported. According to the survey, 41 percent of respondents said they visited more malls this year than last, while only 37 percent of respondents said they shopped at malls less often. In 2015, 25 percent of teens said they visited stores more, meanwhile approximately 43 percent said they visited malls less.

“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 said.

Perhaps this uptick in teen shoppers is due to malls revamping their amenities. If malls were to boost their store selection, food courts and in-house events, this could attract additional consumer demographics, including teens—especially considering survey respondents indicated that malls were their top place to meet with friends (24 percent), as opposed to movie theaters (21 percent) and sports clubs (10 percent). With this in mind, malls may want to revise their brands and establish more personal experiences to attract teen and young adult shoppers.