The team at PlaceWise has been super busy, round the clock since the middle of last week. We have been processing store closings, opening hours updates and of course, starting late last week, mall closings. We can only imagine how busy your center teams have been being on the front lines of late breaking changes due to this virus.
Connecting people is what we do, so in an attempt to help “our community” in the most beneficial way we can think of, we’re going to begin some regular communication to share what we’re seeing across the industry. This is an unprecedented situation, so chances are good that the questions you have, the situations we are facing, are shared challenges, and we can learn a lot from each other on navigating our best way forward.
So what have we been seeing in the past week?
Updates. It started with updates that all sounded pretty much the same. They included the following:
These updates were sent in email, on website pages and in some cases via SMS messages.
There was some minimal blowback from people on social media about, “why aren’t you closed” but largely it is clear that most consumers were still processing the scope of what was happening.
Event Cancellations. Shopping centers across the country have canceled events, pretty much universally. Initially we saw cancelations through the end of March, but more recently, they are canceled out through April (Don’t worry, if we get a miracle, we can alway revive canceled events!).
These updates have been communicated via web, email and SMS as well. We published a guide on updating your site last week which can be found here. In almost all cases, we are creating specific pages with additional information.
Carry Out, Delivery and Curbside Updates. As local authorities across the country started closing restaurant dining rooms, we have been seeing notices for delivery, curbside pickup and carry out. As restaurants struggle to manage this and keep some of their employees working, centers have begun to let their customers know who is open and offering carry out.
We created a guide that shows how this can be done which can be found here.
Closings. This week has seen an acceleration of closings. Most centers who are closing have placed operational messages on their sites informing the public that they are closed. Some have placed optimistic re-opening dates that literally three days ago seemed reasonable. Sadly we all know that very few centers that close this week will be open on April 1.
If you need any assistance with your PlaceWise services or just have a question about what we’re seeing, please reach out to us. We’re working with over 800 centers in the US and Canada so we’re seeing a lot.
Stay well and we’ll be back soon with more.