Shopping Centers and COVID

Apr 7, 2020

North American Centers face COVID with grit and determination: A digital perspective

The speed with which the spread of the coronavirus has brought a near total shutdown to all aspects of life has been nothing short of breathtaking. Streets, arenas, stores and yes, shopping centers now stand quiet as their crowds hunker down, practicing social distancing, waiting for the virus to pass their communities over.

Rewind the clock just 23 days to what now seems like a long time ago.

Week of March 9, 2020: It was clear that coronavirus was an issue. It had begun to find its way into local communities starting with Seattle. People were still wondering if too much was being made of it. On Wednesday the National Basketball Association (NBA) postponed the rest of its season. It was then that most people realized we were heading into something that would include significant changes to our lives. That Friday we got notice of our first client closure and we scrambled to help them communicate to their community.

Week of March 16, 2020: Our office in Denver, Colorado officially closed though everyone was already working from home. National retailers began closures with such velocity we struggled to keep up. Centers seemed to be holding their doors open to support tenants, or maybe to see how things were going to pan out. As the week progressed, it was clear that big changes were afoot. Events were canceled out into April and beyond. Hours changed and more properties closed. We saw a flood of landlord updates. Health & Safety updates gave way to reduced hours, store closures, and as the week progressed, center closures.

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