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How Shopping Malls Are Trying to Recover After Coronavirus

How Shopping Malls Are Trying to Recover After Coronavirus

As we all struggle to recover from the ongoing effects of COVID-19, you can’t help but notice the struggle of shopping malls and their tenants. Many stores and restaurants have struggled or shut down completely during the pandemic, forcing shopping malls to take measures to ensure their recovery after reopening.
Here are five ways that shopping malls are trying to recover from the effects of Coronavirus.

Reduced Contact In-store for Safer Shopping

In most stores, touching items that you don’t intend to buy has been discouraged, and you may not be able to touch certain items at all. Many places have also discouraged the use of cash and physical money because there is a fear that the virus could be passed around on paper bills. Instead, more focus has been placed on credit card and contactless payment, in hopes of reducing the amount of touching that we all do inside the mall.

Indoor Navigation Tools that Help Reduce Time in the Mall

Large malls can be difficult to find your way around, especially if you don’t visit them particularly often. Nonetheless, there is lots of modern technology that can help to reduce this problem. For example, shopping mall maps exist to help users navigate their way around the mall easily, and can reduce the amount of time they spend inside the building. The less time they spend in the mall, the less likely they will transmit the virus to other people.

Closing Fitting Rooms in Clothes Stores (or Opening Them Carefully)

The clothes shopping experience has been changed by COVID-19, with most apparel stores closing their fitting rooms entirely. This has led to a lot of people buying clothes they think will fit them, trying them on at home, and coming back for refunds when necessary.
Closing fitting rooms helps to reduce viral transmission via clothes; however, some stores have been reopening their fitting rooms on a limited basis, then quarantining and washing any clothes that customers decide not to purchase.
Both the approaches of leaving fitting rooms closed and frequently washing clothes aim to make it easier to keep viral transmission down in clothing stores, though it obviously has a negative effect on the overall experience for the customer. It’s a tough balancing act for the stores to pull off.

Increased Online Fulfilment to Balance Out At-Home Demand

Physical stores were already suffering due to increased online shopping, but now that problem is even worse as people shop online more than ever. As a result, many mall stores are now recruiting team members to help facilitate online sales and click-and-collect orders for their store.
This is helping to balance the demand for online sales and people’s desire to shop in brick-and-mortar locations again. In the digital age, it’s essential for most mall locations to have online fulfilment in one way or another.

Rents Dropped to Help Keep Tenants in the Mall

As many tenant’s sales understandably plummeted with COVID-19, it would be tempting to kick them out of shopping malls for failing to make their rent payments to the owner of the premises.
However, what good is evicting half your tenants when no one is going to take their place?
Because of this, many wise mall owners have reduced or even paused their rent charges for tenants so that businesses find it easier to stay afloat and can continue to make rent payments in the long-term when things level out and become normal again.

Though the pandemic rages on, businesses of all shapes and sizes continue to find innovative ways to cope.

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by Rebecca Jones // Contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.