Simon Property is preparing to reopen 49 properties. Here’s how it will work


Largest mall owner in the United States is preparing to open a number of his properties across the country, as states like South Carolina and Georgia begin to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic, notes of internal service obtained by CNBC.

Simon Property Group will reopen 49 of its shopping malls and factory outlets between May 1-4, the memo said, including Haywood Mall in Greenville, South Carolina and Lenox Square in Atlanta. (A full list of the 49 locations and the exact reopening dates are below.)

A company spokesperson did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Hours of operation of shopping malls and factory outlets will be limited to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, to allow overnight cleaning, the memo said. Simon said he would regularly clean up very sensitive areas like dining tables, escalators, door knobs and electronic directories. And it encourages retailers to do the same in their stores.

Meanwhile, Simon said it would encourage – but not force – shoppers to take their temperature before going to the mall. In stores, he said he would make free temperature tests available to customers using infrared thermometers.

CDC-approved hand sanitizers and masks will also be available free of charge to buyers who request them. He said it will encourage people to wear masks or some kind of face covering when shopping. Simon, however, forces his employees to wear masks while they work and to take “frequent breaks to wash their hands.”

To ensure that his employees and buyers keep the distance, Simon takes a number of steps. These include: Tape all other sinks and urinals in the toilet; affix decals on floors to direct traffic in one direction; limit seats in the food court; and keep play areas and fountains closed.

He said he would limit the number of entrances to each property and ensure that occupancy does not exceed one person per 50 square feet of space – using traffic measurement technology.

According to the memo, Simon also encourages retailers and other tenants to use technology, such as Apple Pay, that allows contactless transactions.

Here is the complete list of the 49 locations that should reopen in early May:

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This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.


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