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Jack Myers On the Road

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Meantime, ABC and CBS have stepped up and above the others in their efforts to preserve some of the excitement of the traditional premiere week. In addition to starting new seasons of their hottest shows – “The Good Wife,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Person of Interest,” “NCIS,” “Survivor,” “The Amazing Race” and “Blue Bloods” on CBS; “Modern Family,” “The Middle,” “Nashville,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “Shark Tank” (joining “Dancing with the Stars,” which made its season premiere last week) on ABC – both networks this week are premiering several of their most promising freshmen efforts.

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There has been a great deal of press over the past year or two about the decline of the shopping mall -- stores closing, tumbleweeds rolling through the common areas -- all supposedly because of internet shopping. Malls do close, and this has been happening for decades as demographics and economics in a given geography shift, but what is really going on with the mall shopper? Some things are changing, and some are not, so I’ll provide some highlights that we are seeing. First, traffic in the large, enclosed regional malls has not declined in ten years, according to ShopperTrak. These are the big, beautiful centers where you can’t get a parking space, and they are prospering. But the people that visit them are changing their behavior once they get inside. ShopperTrak explains that, “The number of unique shoppers has remained relatively stable over the past decade. However, we have seen a decline in the number of stores a shopper visits. In 2007, shoppers typically visited 4.5 to 5.0 stores per trip. Today, we see a number closer to 3.0 stores per trip.” This partly explains the declines in traffic that some mall retailers are experiencing.

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