The beginning of the lockdown marked a drastic decline in the mall owner’s revenue and the business has been suffering ever since. But now, as the end of the months-long lockdown nears, they are ready and well equipped.
Mall owners are making special arrangements to ensure a safe and hygienic welcome of the customers after the upliftment of the lockdown. As part of the newly introduced set of operating procedures, malls have set up isolation centers, pandemic response teams, a special app for the customers to order food and are asking the retailers to deploy special sneeze guards in their store.
Shopping Centre Association of India, for phase one of the reopening procedure, has asked the food vendors of malls to sanitize the sitting area after every use and serve only packed food till the intensity of the disease reduces.
“We have told the government that malls are a much safer place and in phase one, barring bars and cinemas, everything else should be allowed to open,” said Pushpa Bector, executive director, DLF Shopping Malls. “We have an internal app, which we are updating to include activities like ordering food, and customers will be informed about Covid-19 through that application.”
SCAI advises mall owners to maintain social distancing throughout the mall, conduct thermal screening of the staff and the customers, rigorous cleaning of the raw material for the food vendors, and regular disinfection of all the touchpoints.
It seems like, the months-long wait for the mall owners and their tenants is going to come to an end, however, customers respond to these strategies remains critical in deciding their success.