CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - While most stores have turned to online-only for more than a month because of COVID-19, some Charlotte-area malls are expected to reopen later this week.
That includes large malls owned by Simon Properties, such as SouthPark Mall, Concord Mills and Charlotte Premium Outlets.
“Just coming to the mall occasionally to get inventory, it is so eerie just to walk through the mall, and see no one,” said David Frankel, owner of Perky LLC, Clothing Innovation Company.
Frankel has been delivering pizzas with his teenage son, but soon, he may reopen his SouthPark Mall kiosk.
The Simon Properties website says its North Carolina stores are slated to reopen on Saturday.
Frankel said it is his understanding that property management is waiting for an official go-ahead from North Carolina Gov. Cooper, and it may actually be Saturday.
He and other business owners, and their employees, will have to follow guidelines when they return, according to Simon’s website.
That includes at-home screenings and temperature-taking before shifts, safety training, wearing face masks and trying to keep six feet from coworkers and shoppers.
These malls say they will not exceed one person per 50 square feet of space and will cut down the number of open entrances.
Food court and common area seating will be cut down, and spaced out, while play areas and stroller stations will be closed.
Restrooms will have every other sink, or urinal, taped off.
Frankel said he wants to keep things safe for shoppers, and his family at home, but he is eager to get back.
“It is what it is, it’s a different world now and we’ve never dealt with this before,” Frankel said. “So we’re going to have to take steps we’ve never taken before, and whatever we can do to make people feel comfortable and safe coming back to the mall."
Once the Simon malls are open, they will have restricted hours - 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays, to disinfect more at night.
They say there will be signs and decals throughout the properties, to encourage traffic flow for people who decide to come shop.