When their doors finally open after mandatory shutdowns, American malls could face another hurdle: consumer fears.

Only one-third of American adults surveyed April 20 said that they will feel safe shopping in a mall after stores reopen, according to a new study by retail predictive analytics company First Insight Inc. More respondents said they’ll feel safe shopping in grocery, drug and big-box stores like Target and Walmart -- outlets that largely remained open during the outbreak to sell essential goods.

Even before the pandemic hit, mall owners were facing a dwindling numbers of shoppers. To tempt people back, some malls added elements like amusement parks, movie theaters and upgraded food courts -- just the types of crowded places that became off-limits when social distancing began.

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