As we drove down Northway Ext 20 in Warren County last weekend, there wasn’t a long line of cars waiting to turn left for the famous “Million-Dollar Half Mile” near Lake George.
Oh, I thought. Perhaps the e-mail from a retail research aggregator with the provocative subject line “Are costs out?” He is dead.
Bargain hunters, as locals know, take Exit 20 as it competes with commercial traffic to get to Vermont and head east on Route 149, just beyond the five exit hubs that hug the road’s right and left sides. .
But I could see full parking lots as we walked, stopping for shoppers on crosswalks to find national names like Adidas, Levi’s, Eddie Bauer, Coach, and more at a discount.
Spring and summer have been tough, but for packed malls, open-air “lifestyle” centers and outlets, local analytics firm Placer.ai tracks shopper visits.
Retailers have seen visits decline in particular with 2021, falling every month since May. Malls and outdoor center visits turned negative in July.
Plaster blames the decline on “old challenges” such as inflation and higher gas prices that are reducing consumer discretionary spending or making them rethink leisure shopping.
One bright spot may be the decline in gasoline prices since June’s highs, which Plaster reported last week showed in August exit visits, with the year-over-year decline slightly smaller than in July.
Plaster also said that while August’s monthly data showed overall struggles, looking at the weekly change in visits to 2021 points to a “more positive trend” at the end of the month. through autumn.
(Since Plaster’s report, the government has released the consumer price index for August, which rose 8.3 percent in August despite lower gas prices.)
KDA Hospitality’s Laura Coles, who manages the Adirondack Outlet Mall at Exit 20, saw “some truth to the concerns” expressed in Plaster’s foot traffic report.
But tenant stores that have built relationships with both local shoppers and frequent tourists “hold their performance,” she said in an email.
“[W]”There may be less foot traffic in some areas, with shoppers making the trip there to shop,” she said.
Exit 20 outlets take advantage of their location near year-round vacation destinations in the Lower Adirondacks. Sales may be higher in July and August, but “we continue to see strong results throughout the year,” Coles said.
Like other sellers, retail retailers face supply issues that affect product mix and availability. “But for those with stock,” Coles said, “the sales data reported over the summer shows that it sold.”
Marilyn Kennedy is a freelance columnist. The opinions expressed in her column are her own and not necessarily those of the newspaper. Reach her [email protected]
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