By Chris Isaac
As COVID-19 has thrown challenges in the way of nearly every industry and business, people have been particularly curious how it would impact the holiday season. Malls are typically swarmed from Black Friday onwards, and in recent years the sales have been creeping earlier and earlier into Thanksgiving.
However, for Simon Property Group, owners of the King of Prussia and Montgomery malls as well as Philadelphia Premium Outlets in Limerick, they are saying family time is more important.
As reported by Clare Duffy at CNN Business, Simon Property Group has already announced their malls will not be open on Thanksgiving. David Simon, the company CEO, stated, “In these challenging times, we made the decision that we will not open on Thanksgiving Day, instead allowing our associates to spend the holiday with their loved ones.”
That decision could very well lead to a much safer day with the family if COVID-19 trends continue as they have been into November.
If the malls are anywhere near as crowded as in the past, retail workers will be in close proximity to a very high number of shoppers. This year, that might have led some workers to question the safety of visiting with family afterward out of fear of spreading the virus to loved ones.
The current plan is for business to resume as normal on Black Friday, but some even question the wisdom of that. Scott Rankin, principal and national consumer and retail strategy leader with KPMG US, said, “With everything that’s going on, there may be no Black Friday at all. I can’t imagine retailers buying inventory to stock up for an event designed to pack hundreds of people into a store. There are so many risks to that.”
In past years online shopping has become more prevalent. It will be interesting to see how significantly the pandemic steers more customers towards that option if conditions with the virus remain the same by November.
To learn more about Simon Property Group’s decision, read about it at CNN Business by clicking here.
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