As California’s stay-at-home restrictions begin to lift, mall giant Simon Properties has reopened nine of its Southern California retail centers, including two in the Inland Empire.
Those malls were closed in March, when one of the nation’s largest owners and operators of shopping centers shut down 10 Southern California locations as part of a statewide attempt to stem the spread of COVID-19. Nine centers have now reopened, with the exception of the three-level Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance.
Inland Empire reopenings include Ontario Mills and Desert Hills Premium Outlets in Cabazon. Other Southern California openings include San Diego County’s Carlsbad Premium Outlets, Fashion Valley and Las Americas Premium Outlets; Orange County’s Brea Mall, The Outlets at Orange and The Shops at Mission Viejo; and Ventura County’s Camarillo Premium Outlets.
“Welcome back,” read social media posts Tuesday from Ontario Mills.
In Northern California, Simon’s reopenings also include Folsom Premium Outlets, Napa Premium Outlets and Pismo Beach Premium Outlets.
The Indianapolis-based company has reported that many of its more than 200 U.S. retail properties have already reopened in areas where retail restrictions were lifted.
“The Simon team is meeting these unprecedented challenges with unwavering commitment to the safety of our employees, shoppers, retailers and the communities we serve,” Chairman, CEO and President David Simon said in a quarterly report published May 11. “We have successfully navigated challenging times throughout our company’s history, and we will endure and gain strength as we weather this disruption.”
Reopened centers have increased emphasis on cleanliness and social distancing, according to “COVID-19 Exposure Mitigation Protocols” outlined on the company’s website. Simon Property’s guidelines include pre-work screenings for employees, reconfiguring high-traffic areas, breaks for employees to wash their hands, self-service payment transactions, disinfection of touchpoints, and sanitizing stations, according to the 10-page document.
Simon Properties also has launched a national initiative to host food banks, clothing donation drives and host COVID-19 mobile testing units and blood drives at properties coast-to-coast.