As the Florida economy reopens from the coronavirus lockdown, malls are anxious to see how consumers will react – and if they will come back. The Mall at Millenia received some national attention praising their efforts on queuing and crowd control during the COVID-19 reopening.
Nate Forbes, president and managing partner of luxury mall operator The Forbes Company, bragged about the Mall at Millenia on CNBC this week. He said the reopening saw 30-40% of normal traffic levels, which slowed slightly after initial opening and has picked back up heading into the weekend. “We expect the weekend to be fairly robust,” Forbes said on CNBC.
The national coverage ran images of people waiting in lines outside of stores and seemingly eager to get back to shopping.
“Now we have to reintroduce the customer so they feel comfortable with the socialization aspect of coming back to the mall, so they make several stops during their visit and they visit multiple stores while they’re at the shopping centers,” Forbes said.
He also said luxury segments and home goods are stores doing well so far in the COVID-19 economy. While Florida is not a mandating people wear masks in public, mall employees are wearing masks. Forbes said about 75% of guests visiting the mall are wearing masks.
Some things may continue even as Florida gets out of the coronavirus lockdown. Forbes said he expects curbside delivery to continue post-coronavirus.
“We’ll delivery to the home, we’ll provide curbside delivery, and of course most of all, we want to encourage everybody to come to the shopping center, visit multiple stores, and really enjoy the experience and the socialization around shopping,” he emphasized.