What You Can Expect When Malls Reopen During The Pandemic

Malls and public places are starting to reopen — with a change in business practices. Established public health guidelines still recommend social distancing measures. Moreover, retailers are making sanitation their top priority in order to minimize the spread of the virus. Although many businesses have closed their stores, some brands are beginning to prepare for new opportunities. I visited my local mall to give you the inside scoop. Here’s what you should expect if you visit your local mall soon:

Security measures are now more important than ever. 

After setting foot inside the mall, the security team provided a debrief on the operational changes. For example, they told a couple of customers and me to stay on the right-hand side and follow the arrows. 

The reinforcement of specific pathways creates an organized flow of traffic. After all, it is difficult to estimate how many people will show up for shopping after being confined in their houses for a few months.

You’ll see social distancing signs.

Since many of us forget (or ignore) the importance of social and physical distancing, upper management has constructed signs to remind everyone about public health guidelines. Some of these signs at my mall warn about the importance of following safety measures in public areas. 

You’ll see sanitation stations.

When I visited my local mall, multiple “sanitation stations” were throughout the mall. In fact, I saw a hand sanitizer machine every 10 meters! Additionally, I saw many store employees encourage customers to use hand sanitizer and avoid touching products as much as possible. 

You’ll see more sales and clearance deals.

COVID-19 has changed business practices among retail stores. With the situation of inventory overflow, retailers are finding themselves in the process of markdown and clearances. Sales will occur continuously in the next few months until inventory space is cleared. 

Some entrances may be blocked.

At my mall, drug stores connected to the shopping center are totally sealed off. This makes it easier for upper management to monitor mall traffic and organize safety protocols. You’ll probably see the same thing at your mall.

Some stores will be closed for good.

Many retailers have closed their physical stores. This week, more stores including Brooks & Brothers, Aldo, and Victoria’s Secret have announced that they will close some of their physical locations. With the increasing rent and declining sales, having the resources for a brick-and-mortar store is difficult in pandemic-ridden environments. 

However, some stores may have newly opened.

The good news is that some retailers have now taken the pandemic as an opportunity to open new stores. For example, a new Marshalls location opened up near me. 

Indeed, COVID-19 has changed the functionality of retail stores and shopping centers. Due to the ongoing virus concern, malls have abided by public health protocols through the reinforcement of security and sanitation measures.

Although retail will never be the same as before, the industry has taught us to always look for solutions regardless of the issue. Even if the pandemic seems like a halt in events, we must realize that our lives will still go on. Just like a retail store or mall, we have to adjust our skills and become more prepared to tackle the world once the virus is eradicated.

Photo by Arturo Rey on Unsplash



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