The announcement from Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday that the Finger Lakes and four other regions can now move into Phase 2 of the reopening process is not making some retailers happy.
While the move to Phase 2 does allow more retail establishments to open, it also carries some restrictions, including for indoor shopping malls.
Cuomo said that indoor malls are still closed under Phase 2 except for stores that have external entrances. And stores at malls have also been doing some curbside sales as well.
This news was less than thrilling for Wilmorite, the owner of the Rochester area malls, Eastview, Marketplace, Greece Ridge and Pittsford Plaza.
Wilmorite issued a statement saying that at the last minute, malls were omitted from Phase 2, and that is extremely disappointing for retailers and employees who were looking forward to returning to work. Wilmorite says that, “the stores have been struggling to keep their businesses afloat through this pandemic and many tenants may not survive a couple more weeks of being shut down.”
The mall owner contends that excluding enclosed shopping centers gives an unfair competitive advantage to strip malls and free standing retail stores.
Wilmorite also says that the malls have wide common areas, that gives a lot of space for social distancing. And the company is hoping the governor’s office will reconsider and allow indoor malls to reopen soon.