Shopping Centers Forced to Reinvent Themselves

Using technology to measure the flow of visitors, reducing the furniture available in the food courts and implementing product deliveries in the parking area are part of the changes that the region's shopping centers must apply in this new reality.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Because of the threat of the spread of covid-19, since mid-March in Central America, the authorities agreed to close the shopping centers. So far, in Costa Rica, they have already reopened, in El Salvador they will be operating again in the coming weeks and in the case of Guatemala, it is not yet defined when this sector will be allowed to reactivate.

Check out the "System for monitoring markets and the economic situation in Central American countries", developed by CentralAmericaData.

The strategies and changes to be applied by those in charge of these properties will transform the way shopping centers operated until before the beginning of the health and economic crisis.

In Costa Rica, Lucia Rojas, Marketing Manager of City Mall, told that "... for the well-being of customers, the use of a mask will be required for those who wish to enter the mall. This is in addition to the established protocols for controlled entry with distance, temperature taking, alcohol in hands and the use of a sanitizing mat for shoes."

See "E-Commerce: What do Consumers Want to Buy?"

As part of the implementation of Phase 3 of the reopening of the economy, it is planned that in El Salvador, starting July 22nd, shopping centers will be able to begin serving consumers.

Elias Arevalo, operations manager of Grupo Roble, a company that owns shopping centers in the country, explained to that "... the sector is preparing to enter a new era by applying a series of measures, including the use of technology to measure the number of visitors to the buildings and biosecurity protocols to protect employees, clients and visitors."

The changes in the ways in which items purchased by customers are dispatched will be another of the trends that will become evident in this context of changing business scenarios.

In Panama, Jaravy Rosales, marketing manager of Grupo Roble, told that "... with the new online sales option, products can be purchased through the websites of both shopping centers (Multiplaza and Metromall), and delivery and pickup times can be scheduled without having to get out of the car, because for this they will establish safe areas with thorough cleaning measures for the peace of mind of each user."

See articles by: "Shopping centers prepare reopening with nuances in their sanitary protocols" (in Spanish). "Shopping malls prepare for safe operation restart" (in Spanish). "Shopping centers will be supported by online sales" (in Spanish).

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More on this topic

Stores and Restaurants Reopen in Panama

September 2020

After six months of restricted activity, as of September 28th the shopping centers and restaurants reopen their doors to the public.

Due to the outbreak of covid-19, most commercial activities have been suspended since March of this year. Currently, in the context of economic recovery, the government has been relaxing restrictions and more and more sectors are beginning to be reactivated.

Shopping Centers: Low Optimism for Reactivation

August 2020

As of August 17, Panamanian shopping centers will reactivate their operations, but only through online sales and consumers will only be able to withdraw their products, a modality that does not generate enough income to cover the costs of the shops.

Due to the covid-19 outbreak, the Panamanian government has postponed on several occasions the reactivation of productive activities in the country, but after the Cabinet Council and the health advisory teams made an analysis of the current situation, the authorities decided to reopen the premises dedicated to retail trade.

Shopping Centers Reopen

July 2020

After more than four months of closure due to the covid-19 outbreak, shopping malls in Guatemala received the endorsement to start serving their customers and as of July 31 have reactivated their operations.

With the publication of Ministerial Agreement 187-2020, the Health Alert System for the covid-19 epidemic was made official, which includes four alerts: red or maximum, orange or high, yellow or moderate, and green (new normal).

Shopping Centers Prepare for the New Reality

July 2020

Encouraging online sales so that customers can pick up products without getting out of their vehicles is the commitment of some Panamanian shopping centers to comply with the safety protocols that will be required in this new commercial reality.

Due to the threat of the spread of covid-19, since mid-March, Panamanian authorities decided to close the shopping centers.

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