Texas businesses are reopening in waves, and retail establishments are among the first to do so. Small boutiques and massive shopping centers alike can resume business on May 1.
Galleria Dallas is opting to use the weekend to prepare before opening its doors on May 4.
“We hold the health and safety of our retail employees and all guests as our top priority,” explained General Manager Angie Freed. “[We are] not willing to rush to open unless we could focus on what was best for our guests, our retailers, and our building.”
To start, the shopping center will enlist an industrial hygienist to “conduct a post-disinfection assessment of the entire building.” Once patrons are permitted inside, Galleria Dallas will adhere to guidelines set forth by Gov. Abbott and the CDC. Sanitation practices “will be enhanced and consistent, especially on high-touch surfaces,” says the shopping center. All visitors, including employees, must wear face coverings. Common areas, such as The Children’s Play Place, will remain closed, and seating will be removed or spaced out for social distancing. In the food court, all orders must be taken to go.
The Galleria will monitor its patron count to respect Gov. Abbott’s 25 percent capacity mandate. Because of the sheer size of the shopping center, this likely won’t be an issue, said its representatives. The center will be monitoring patron counts using the garage entrances; 95 percent of shoppers use mall parking.
Each retailer at Galleria Dallas will have the choice to reopen at their discretion. Those that do must also operate at 25 percent capacity.
The Galleria says it will work with retailers to ensure that they follow state and federal government standards. Recommended policies include “the education of all employees on CDC COVID-19 policies, strict rules on employee health and reporting, and additional hygiene precautions.”
Despite Galleria Dallas’s efforts to ease the minds of safety-conscious shoppers, attendance may be underwhelming on May 4. This morning, we polled our FrontBurner readers; the majority are not comfortable visiting a mall just yet.
Luckily, there are other ways to shop the Galleria. The mall launched its “retail to-go” concept just last week, and participating retailers are still offering curbside pickup in front of the Westin Hotel. Learn more here.
As for Dallas’ other landmark shopping mall, NorthPark Center, its managers haven’t yet decided whether to reopen to foot traffic.