After months of closure, Yorkdale, Square One, and Scarborough Town Centre are set to reopen their doors on March 8.
However, shoppers heading out to the malls should be prepared for a few noticeable changes to their shopping experience, including health screenings, capacity limits, and robust curbside pickup options.
Oxford Properties Group, the owner behind Yorkdale, Square One, and Scarborough Town Centre, laid out the changes in a news release on Friday ahead of the reopening.
“A visit to the mall will be different when our centres reopen, and the public should know what to expect,” said Bradley Jones, head of retail for Oxford Properties. “We are working closely with government and public health to ensure that the reopening of Yorkdale, Square One and Scarborough Town Centre is successful and done with the greatest attention to public health guidelines.”
Capacity in the shopping centres will be limited to 25% of usual capacity, including employees. This limit has been set by the provincial government to allow for social distancing to be maintained inside of stores.
Oxford Properties says that many retailers will also have line management systems to help minimize wait times and reduce crowding by sending a text notification to shoppers to alert them when they can enter.
“Retail is an important economic sector, and we are optimistic about the resumption of in-store shopping with capacity limits,” said Jones.
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Each of the malls’ websites will have a live capacity meter at the top of their landing pages, showing real-time capacity limits to give shoppers an idea of what wait times could be like when they arrive.
When shoppers are entering the malls, they can only go through select doors and will be required to complete a screening. There will also be the option to complete the screening online prior to arrival, after which shoppers can simply show their “you can go” verification to the screener at the shopping centre’s entrance.
Many retailers at Yorkdale, Square One, and Scarborough Town Centre will be offering curbside pickup when they reopen. Complete lists of participating retailers can be found on each of the malls’ websites.
Provincial regulations also require that in Toronto, all individuals wear a face covering while shopping and that indoor dining spaces must be closed, including food courts.