Following the easing of government restrictions, Capital & Regional will be allowing all retailers who had previously been prevented from trading to reopen from 15 June across its portfolio of seven UK community shopping centres, with the exception of leisure and dining facilities which, unless solely operating a takeaway or delivery service, will remain closed until the restrictions are eased further. This includes its London-based centres, The Mall Wood Green, The Mall Walthamstow and Exchange Ilford, as well as The Marlowes in Hemel Hempstead, The Mall Maidstone, The Mall Luton and The Mall Blackburn.
All of Capital & Regional’s shopping centres have remained open since lockdown measures were introduced on 23 March, ensuring local communities have access to essential services and other necessities. This next phase of reopening non-essential retail will be conducted in a safe and controlled manner, with measures implemented to ensure strict adherence to government guidelines. Capital & Regional has undertaken extensive planning and consultation with local authorities, retailers and service providers to ensure the health and wellbeing of shoppers and staff, with detailed guidelines having been issued to its occupiers and centre teams.
Access to the centres will be closely monitored through additional staff and the usage of existing footfall technology, with visitor capacity carefully controlled to maintain social distancing and to protect visitors, occupiers and staff. If the density of shoppers rises to levels that may prevent social distancing, access to the centre will be reduced or temporarily stopped until numbers reduce.
Capital & Regional will continue its commitment to clear and consistent communication with its communities and retail customers with information on accessibility and up to date advice on visiting during non-peak times made readily available on centre websites and via corporate and local social media channels.
Capital & Regional will also continue to implement measures within its centre to support good hygiene practice and social distancing.
Lawrence Hutchings, CEO, Capital & Regional, said: “We are pleased to begin welcoming back retailer customers, guests and staff, further to the government’s easing of lockdown restrictions. Our priority now is ensuring that everyone in our centres feels as safe as possible in the knowledge that we have taken every possible measure to protect their health and wellbeing as more of our retailers re-open stores.
We have supplied each of our centre teams and occupiers with robust guidelines in line with those issued by the government, and will be carefully controlling visitor capacity to maintain social distancing.”
Sara Jennings, director of guest and customer experience, Capital & Regional, said: “Since the government lockdown announced on 23 March, communication among our teams to adapt our operations in line with government guidance, and with our retailers, local authorities and guests, has been paramount to ensuring that we can continue to support our communities to the highest possible standards.
With the pivotal role our centres serve in local communities, we do not underestimate the importance of maintaining clear and consistent communication as we enter this first phase of re-opening stores, and will be using our centre websites and social media channels to keep our guests informed about the safest times to shop.
By staying alert through our own in-centre footfall technology and by continuing to monitor the latest government guidance, we are ready to quickly adapt our plans as and when further advice is issued.”