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.

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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

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.

Commercial Sector Suggests Resumption of Activities

April 2020

Applying cleaning and prevention protocols in workplaces and shops, such as those stipulated by the health authorities, are the proposals of Costa Rican businessmen to resume the commercial activity that has been restricted since mid-March.

Following the spread of covid-19, in Costa Rica and the other Central American countries, governments have decreed mandatory quarantines and have also restricted the movement of consumers at certain times.

Businesses in Panama Requested to Be Closed

March 2020

Due to the spread of covid-19, from March 21, 2020 and for a period of 30 days, the government has ordered the temporary closure of shops and businesses in the country, with the exception of pharmacies, supermarkets, banks, gas stations and others.

The Ministry of Health considers it necessary to apply additional health measures to reduce, mitigate and control the spread of the disease COVID-19, in view of the pandemic declared by the WHO, explains the decree published in the Official Journal.

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