Malls Can Reopen Monday, But Mall of America Will Hold Off Until June 1
Minnesota malls were caught somewhat off guard by Gov. Tim Walz’s announcement that they will be allowed to reopen on Monday, May 18. “Turning the dial,” as the governor likes to say, on an operation as large as Mall of America is a complicated process, and so MOA was first to announce Thursday that it will wait until June 1 to reopen stores, and even then, only partially.
“This will allow us to continue creating the safest environment possible for our team members, tenants and guests,” MOA said in a statement. “It will also allow our diverse set of retail tenants the time needed to rehire, train staff and prepare their individual stores with necessary cleaning, sanitization and safety measure implementations. All dining and attractions will remain closed until further guidance from state officials is provided. Food establishments may still operate through curbside and delivery.”
In an interview with TCB last week, Jill Renslow, MOA’s senior vice president of business development and marketing, talked about what a phased reopening might look like, and how mall operations could change going forward.
Other malls will open sooner. Rosedale Center and Galleria have announced plans to open on Monday. Both will keep shorter hours and adhere to the state’s safety guidelines. That includes mandatory face masks for visitors and employees, hand sanitizer stations at entrances, and limiting visitor occupancy to 50 percent, which will require security officers to count cars and carefully monitor food traffic. Galleria said Thursday that it will remove all communal seating areas, add social distancing signage, and increase “rigorous cleaning and sanitizing throughout the center, especially focusing on high touch surfaces.
Rosedale is asking all stores to clean their spaces per Centers for Disease Control guidelines before reopening. The mall said that not all stores will be ready on Monday.
“A safe environment for shoppers and retailers is our number one priority,” said Rosedale General Manager Lisa Crain in a statement. “We are closely monitoring guidance from local and national authorities and working with our clients to ensure that property safety protocols are being followed as shoppers and employees come back to Rosedale Center. We will continue to employ CDC guidelines and oversee vigilant maintenance of the center’s cleanliness, encourage social distancing and keep areas of the center closed when necessary.”
Both Rosedale and Galleria intend to continue curbside pick-up. Visit the mall websites for the latest on which stores are open or offering curbside pickup. Galleria’s new hours will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Rosedale’s operating hours will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Rosedale’s mall walking program has been temporarily suspended so there will be no access to the mall before 11 a.m.
Simon Property Group, which owns Southdale Center in Edina, Miller Hill Mall in Duluth and Premium Outlets in Eagan and Albertville, has yet to announce its reopening plans in Minnesota, but the company has already opened dozens of shopping centers in other states. Eden Prairie Center management said Thursday that it was awaiting its landlord’s decision on reopening the interior of the shopping center. Tenants with exterior access, including Von Maur and Barnes & Noble can make their own plans.