Can shopping malls bounce back after the pandemic?

shopping malls

The pandemic has changed many aspects of everyday life. After more than a year of lockdowns and restrictions, many industries are struggling to recover – even after some of the restrictions have been lifted. Will Canadian shopping malls be able to bounce back, or are they more likely to shut their doors for good? A new article from Global News takes a closer look at the situation.

Fairview Pointe-Claire
Fairview Pointe Claire

Shopping malls have declined for years

In an article titled “in a post-pandemic world, will Canadians ever go back to shopping malls?”, Global News explores the current situation of Canadian shopping malls. Malls are among the businesses that have struggled over the past one and a half years. According to the article, foot traffic to Canada’s top 10 biggest malls has been dropping for several years, even before the lockdowns. A study found a drop of 42 per cent in foot traffic from February 2019 to February 2020 – before the first restrictions were implemented.

While traditional retail outlets have struggled, online shopping has exploded. A study published by PayPal Canada found that Canadians have been spending more than $2 billion more a month shopping online than they did before the pandemic. Online shopping has been on the rise for more than a decade, thanks to Amazon and other online retailers. Lower prices, quick deliveries and convenience are just some of the reasons that more and more people choose to do their shopping online.

According to the new article by Global News, shopping malls do have a future in Canada – but the industry needs to make some major changes. Instead of trying to compete with online stores, shopping malls will need to attract customers by offering a better and more unique shopping experience. Combining shopping with other activities could be the solution for some. High-end food courts, hairdressers and other services could attract more visitors. In addition, the article points out that many people still prefer to buy clothes, appliances and other items in a real shop instead of purchasing them online.

COVID-19: Quebec

Other industries hit by the pandemic

Of course, shopping malls are just one of the many industries that have been hit hard by the pandemic. Many hairdressers, hotels, dentists, airlines, restaurants, and pubs have been forced to scale down their businesses or close down entirely over the past couple of years. Some businesses have managed to save their business by offering their services online. For example, many now prefer to play at the best online casino in Canada instead of visiting a real casino.

Delivery services have also seen a major uprise in 2020 and 2021. Every day, thousands of Canadians order food online instead of going to a restaurant. Some streaming services have opted to offer their blockbuster movies on streaming services immediately instead of sending them to the cinemas first. The pandemic has created new opportunities for businesses that are willing to adapt, but some industries will be changed forever. However, the biggest shopping malls in Canada are likely to be around for many years to come.

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