Retail mall foot traffic picks up ahead of Thanksgiving

U.S. shopping mall foot traffic rose 2.5% for the latest four-week period compared with a year earlier, as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, according to the Thasos Mall REIT Foot Traffic Index.

Growth, as shown by mobile phone usage in malls, had slowed in September and October ahead of the key shopping season.

Meanwhile, the SPDR S&P Retail ETF fell 1.2%, while the S&P 500 gained 2.9% over the past month.

The ETF had a 0.66 correlation with the Thasos Index from August 2016 through March 2019, according to Thasos.

The ETF is made up of both brick-and-mortar retailers and online businesses like Inc. and GrubHub Inc. By comparison, the Solactive-ProShares Bricks and Mortar Retail Store Index fell 1.99% over the past month.

The Thasos index measures mobile-phone location data from five of the largest U.S. shopping center real estate investment trusts: Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc., Brookfield Property Partners LP, Macerich Co., Taubman Centers Inc. and Washington Prime Group Inc.

At least 50% of the properties of these five REITs are enclosed malls and shopping centers. Thasos index is updated every Friday with year-over-year traffic growth for the four-week period ending the Saturday prior.

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