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Taylor Swift's New Movie a Lifeline to Malls and Movie Theaters


Featured in COMMERCIAL OBSERVER on October 12, 2023.

Retail sales and activity has appropriately reshaped itself for a post-pandemic, in-person boom; last year, traffic to top-tier malls was up 12 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels. From August 2022 to 2023, spending at bars and restaurants, as well as health and wellness centers, was up more than 7 percent, per Cushman & Wakefield data, while pandemic “winners” such as home improvement, books, hobby centers, and furniture and appliances all saw sales declines.

“The events are what pays the bills,” said SimonCRE CEO Joshua Simon, whose development firm focuses on retail. “Being a landlord in retail today, you have to provide additional services. Tenants and landlords need to work together to provide themselves unique opportunities and think about the Instagram moments.”

With all these trends aligning and data points underscoring the economic impacts of live events, malls, other retail and commercial real estate in general should cash in on the halo effect of hot tickets. Swift fans, after all, spent $1,300 per person on average per show, surveys found, nearly double what they expected, and set hotel occupancy records.



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