While the largest shopping mall in BC did not shut down during COVID-19, for much of the past two months the majority of its businesses decided to close voluntarily or were forced to do so due to health safety restrictions.
But there are now clear signs of an unwinding of the temporary closures. As of today, Metropolis at Metrotown has seen over 100 of its shops and restaurants reopen, aligning with the provincial government’s green lighting the restart of the economy this week.
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Anchor retailers such as Hudson’s Bay, Sport Chek, Toys ‘R Us, and H&M have all reopened, which follows their corporate strategies to reopen their respective locations in the province.
Some of the prominent retailers that are now open entail Apple, Browns Shoes, Champs, EB Games, Foot Locker, Lacoste, Levi’s, Nike, Oak + Fort, Roots, Shoppers Drug Mart, Steve Madden, Urban Behaviour, and Weekend by Max Mara.
On May 21, Uniqlo will reopen its large store at the mall, as part of its reopening at select Western Canada locations.
Food and beverage businesses that are currently open at the mall include Big Orange Juice Bar, Blenz Coffee, Boss Restaurant, Chef Tony Dim Sum, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Crepe Delicious, Curry Express, Dessert Dynasty, Freshslice Pizza, Koya Japan, Little Tea House, Manchu Wok, Maxim’s Bakery, Mr. Pretzels, Poko Popcorn, Tsujiri, Umi Sushi Express, Uncle Tetsu, Yogen Fruz, and various A&W and Tim Hortons locations.
As an essential service, Metropolis’ three grocery stores — Superstore, T&T Supermarket, and Walmart — never closed.
More businesses are expected to reopen on a daily basis, but with over 400 businesses within the mall, there is still a long road ahead before a near-normal level of open shops, food kiosks, and restaurants.
Mall operator and owner Ivanhoe Cambridge is asking visitors to respect and follow the physical distancing requirement of two metres at all times. Markers on the floor and other signage at key areas on the property indicate proper spacing. As well, elevators should be limited to just two people at a time.
Food court and common area seating have been eliminated for the time being, and guest services will remain closed until plexiglass shields are installed.
Hand sanitizer dispensers are distributed at designated locations, and the mall is conducting enhanced sanitization procedures for its washrooms, tables, door handles, and other high-touch surfaces.
Metropolis’ hours are currently 10 am to 9 pm from Monday to Saturday, and 11 am to 7 pm on Sunday.
Earlier this week, CF Pacific Centre and a number of previously-closed Robson Street businesses reopened after a weeks-long closure.