Thursday, March 13, 2014

ShopperTrak, a company that measures foot traffic at retailers, reported a 14.6 percent decline in the 2013 holiday season compared with 2012, continuing a pattern of double-digit declines. 
The story is told in Sbarro’s filing for bankruptcy protection early this week. Six of the seven biggest creditors listed are entities to which the company owes lease payments. It owes more to several individual landlords than it does to the supplier who provides the soda to enable Sbarro’s customers to wash back their greasy pizza. 
The company’s challenge highlights the underlying problem with a strategy built around selling mediocre pizza at the right place and right time. It means that owners of the real estate in question can extract much of the value of the crowds they attract, not the restaurant chain. 
Other fast-food chains may offer mediocre food, but their real estate strategies are less exposed to the epic decline in foot traffic in the nation’s malls. As people do more shopping online, fewer are visiting the mall — and more seem to be putting a bit more thought into their food....


  1. Becca5:47 PM

    Listen, if there were more stores in the mall that sold plus size clothes, I'd go all the time, get myself a greasy slice, and buy me some fat girl clothes. But because I HAVE to online shop, I stay away. Take it up with the retailers, Sbarro! I enjoy your greasy pizza!

  2. The Pathetic Earthling12:33 AM

    I know Sbarro is a more East Coast thing so I was surprised to learn there were any locations in the Bay Area at all (about six). Anyway, this made me realize that Sun Valley Mall, which was the center of my supply of Toughskins in the 1970s -- and still the closest traditional mall -- is a mall I have set foot in twice in perhaps twice in the last fifteen years.

    (The only mall I go to at all these days in Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton, California and that's only because that's where the Lego Store is).

  3. Benner1:06 PM

    that's a shame, because at the mall, having fun is what it's all aboat.