Only parts of malls in Mississauga and Brampton will be open when the Ontario government loosens shopping restrictions this Friday.
Under the first phase of Ontario’s plan to re-open, only stores that have a street facing entrance will be allowed to let customers back in…and on a limited basis.
This means most of the stores in some of the GTA’s biggest malls will remain closed.
Under the new guidelines that will commence on June 11 at 12:01 a.m., essential retail will be able to operate at 25 per cent capacity. Non-essential retail can open at 15 per cent capacity. In both case there will no longer be restrictions on the type of goods that can be sold, meaning no more roped-off areas. As well, masks and other social distancing protocols will be in place in the stores.
While some mall shops qualify, the stores that benefit will largely be street level stores in downtown-like shopping districts and stand-alone buildings situated in parking lots. For stores tucked away inside a mall, well, it’s just not their time.
Still, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) reports it is lobbying Queen’s Park to allow mall stores with any exterior entrance — even a back or service door — to open.