Retail

Simon Said To Reopen 49 Malls In May

The nation’s biggest mall owner is set to reopen more than four dozen shopping centers next month.

CNBC obtained an internal memo from Simon Property Group which revealed 49 malls and discount centers in 10 states will reopen between May 1 and May 4 following closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The properties in Texas, Indiana, Alaska, Missouri, Georgia, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Arkansas and Tennessee will not be limited to curbside-pickup reopening like the ones happening in Texas, the report said.

Simon plans to offer shoppers temperature checks and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-approved masks and sanitizing kits. While shoppers will not be required to wear masks, staff will, the news outlet reported.

To keep customers safe, Simon will take every other sink and urinal in restrooms out of commission, use floor markers to direct foot traffic and food court seating will be limited.

Staff will be on hand to limit occupancy to one person per 50 square feet, the memo said.

Mall hours will be reduced to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday to allow for cleaning overnight, according to the memo.

Simon is also encouraging retailers to use technology, such as Apple Pay, for contactless transactions.

It will ultimately be the decision of tenants, such as Macy’s, to determine whether to reopen.

In mid-March, Simon announced it would close all of its U.S. retail properties. They were scheduled to reopen on March 29, but it was extended.

On March 31, Simon said it had furloughed 30 percent of its workforce and permanently laid off other employees. Salaries of upper-level managers were cut by up to 30 percent during the pandemic, and CEO David Simon said he will not take a salary.

“The health and safety of our shoppers, retailers and employees is of paramount importance and we are taking this step to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities,” said David Simon, the company’s CEO in a statement at the time.

Ali Slocum, Simon’s vice president of public relations, did not respond to a request for comment from PYMNTS.

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