It’s slowly coming back to life.
After several weeks being open but almost every retailer having decided to shut their doors during early days the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tsawwassen Mills shopping mall is now seeing stores beginning to open again.
However, there’s also precautions.
On Thursday afternoon the Mills had roughly a third of its businesses re-opened with several of the closed outlets having signs posted indicating they were planning to re-open soon.
The crowd was still thin with less than half the shoppers wearing masks, but almost all carrying multiple bags of merchandise. A pair shoppers carrying bags and wide grins told the Optimist there were deals to be had and that they saved around $300.
All but one food vendor had re-opened but there were signs of activity in several of the closed eateries indicating more would be open in the coming days.
The seating area of the food court is reduced with many tables and chairs having been removed or covered up. A security guard was also stationed at one end of the seating area, appearing to monitor those within to ensure social distancing is being adhered to in the food court.
Almost all the retailers that had reopened had signs posted outside reminding shoppers to maintain a safe distance from each other. Several had employees standing outside limiting the number of people who could go inside, while some had mandatory hand sanitizing stations.
Several of the retailers also reconfigured their entrances to funnel people inside and to exit them at certain points.
The mall itself had stickers of arrows on the floor attempting to guide people to traverse the facility in a particular pattern, much like what can be seen in grocery stores.
The shopping experience at the mall and in Delta will be a different one, for sure, in the foreseeable future. Retail stores across the country have been slowly reopening but it will be under enhanced safety protocols with physical distancing, store capacity limits, employees wearing masks and other measures.
The representative at the Mills customer service desk having plexiglass to separate them from shoppers is just one example of the new retail landscape.