With coronavirus safety measures, Simon Property Group reopening 50% of its malls

It closed all its properties March 18 due to the COVID-19 pandemic

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Simon Property Group, the largest mall owner in the United States, is planning to reopen roughly 50 percent of its properties within the next week with coronavirus safety measures, the company said.

“We are now leading the effort for these local economies to get back to business,” Chief Executive David Simon told analysts on a quarterly earnings call this week. “We want to help these local communities ... because frankly they depend on our sales taxes.”

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
SPGSIMON PROPERTY GROUP INC.64.87-4.96-7.10%

As of Monday, Simon had reopened 77 of its U.S. properties where states have begun to loosen coronavirus restrictions. Simon owns roughly 200 malls and outlet centers across the country.

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The mall owner temporarily closed all of its properties March 18 due to the pandemic but began reopening some of its properties in May, according to a report.

It put measures in place to slow the spread of the virus, as health officials urge staying 6 feet away from others. Those include limiting store hours, reducing foot traffic and, providing face covers and stripping some chairs from gathering areas to encourage social distancing. Mall-goers will see messaging detailing certain safety measures, including floor decals that encourage social distancing.

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The company will also sanitize high-frequency touchpoints, like digital maps and screens, Lauren Simonetti reported on FOX Business Network: “They are opening, they are hoping the stores in the malls are open and they hope the shoppers go,” she said. Some retailers, such as Nordstrom and Gap, have laid out their own reopening plans to reopen business in phase.

Simon’s quarterly profits fell 20 percent during the first quarter ended March 31.

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A Simon spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment from FOX Business.

Another big brand, Hilton, in anticipating customers returning, partnered with the maker of Lysol, and consulted with the Mayo Clinic COVID-19 Response Team to develop enhanced cleaning procedures. Meanwhile, Airbnb is enforcing stricter protocols, requiring rentals to stay vacant for at least 24 hours between checkout and a new reservation. Other retailers like Amazon and Walmart are enforcing temperature checks when employees report to work.

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