Expect less people, more restrictions as metro Detroit malls plot unconventional reopening

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click to enlarge Expect less people, more restrictions as metro Detroit malls plot unconventional reopening
Courtesy of Somerset Collection

After closing due to the coronavirus, metro Detroit's malls are back — but the shopping experience will look a bit different.

Last week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order that relaxed restrictions for retailers, allowing select services, like shopping, to be available by appointment only.

“The congregation of people inside is what's so dangerous and that's why appointment-only gives us the ability to start to re-engage this sector of our economy,” Whitmer said.

Select stores in Macomb Mall in Roseville opened Tuesday, and Thursday will mark the re-opening of Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills and Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi. Somerset Collection in Troy and Lakeside Mall in Sterling Heights are set to open on Friday.

Don't expect all stores to be open, however. According to The Detroit News, Twelve Oaks estimates 20-40% of its retailers to open this week, with more expected later. There will also be limited hours of operation. Both Great Lakes Crossing, and Twelve Oaks will be open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Somerset, too, will be open reduced hours, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. daily.

Great Lakes Crossing Outlets will allow customers to make in-store appointments for those stores using an app, which will allow people to return for their scheduled shopping time, The Detroit News reports.

Per a press release, the Somerset Collection will also have entryway greeters, who will provide masks to those without. They will also place coasters on areas or shared surfaces to indicate when it was last sanitized.

Patrons throughout retail spaces will be expected to wear face masks, as well as maintain a six-foot distance between employees and other shoppers. Limited mall and store capacities will be enforced. Per Whitmer's order, stores can operate at 25% of its total capacity, which is capped at 10 people depending on the size of the store.

Food court seating will be adjusted to accommodate social distancing, and amenities like drinking signs and play areas will be closed. Sanitation efforts will be increased, especially for those surfaces that are shared.

The executive order also applies to Michigan's marijuana dispensaries, as well as other services like auto dealerships.

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