California's malls, forced to stand idle for now, are inventing new ways to survive the difficult period of the pandemic.
When the coronavirus forced malls in California to stop working for the second time as the number of diseases there continued to grow, some mall owners decided it was time to take action. They presented a concept that turned shopping malls inside out, creating a kind of open-air marketplace in front of the mall.
It was the case, for example, at the Westfield Valley Fair mall in Santa Clara, California, owned by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. It is not the only example. Simon, Brookfield Properties, and Segerstrom also followed this path. Representatives of shopping malls say that this is a safe and innovative way of supporting their landlords under challenging times.
Markets opened by malls are not much different from the typical open-air markets. Visitors are also welcome to open tents or sell them -- in this case, items from popular brands such as Athleta, Shoe Palace, Hugo Boss, David Yurman, and Pottery Barn. Nearby is also setting up tents, where visitors can buy food and drink. The size of the market depends on the location of the adjacent territory.
It is also noted that this concept is interesting not only for closed centers, but also for those who have resumed their activities, but it is not yet attracting enough buyers who are afraid to visit the closed premises.
According to representatives of shopping centers, they will expand and support such markets until the pandemic goes down, and the market returns to regular operation. However, it should be noted that this approach is temporary and will only work as long as it is warm enough outside. "But we do believe that in a couple of months, the pandemic will finally go down, and we will not have to invent new approaches to trading."