American shopping centers are adjusting to new realities, but do not cancel the celebrations.
The 2020 pandemic has made adjustments to everyone's daily lives. Next in line is the first ever meeting of the New Year, which will be held under pressure from all sorts of prohibitions and restrictions and fears of people in contracting the virus. Although that won't stop millions of people around the world from visiting their favorite malls on the eve of the holidays.
IN THE USA largest malls are starting to prepare for the New Year and Christmas in a new way, developing unprecedented security measures and even transferring a number of popular customs to a contactless or virtual environment.
According to the latest polls, only 45% Americans plan to visit the malls on the eve of the holidays this year. For comparison, in December 2019, the share of those consumers who cannot refuse visiting malls on holidays was 64%.
And yet, despite the drop in traffic, malls can not miss the opportunity to earn extra money during the holidays in the most difficult year for the industry. A number of shopping centers and department stores are preparing new programs, which have no analogues before.
In particular, Bass Pro Shops will not refuse Santa's invitation to communicate with children and their parents, but this year the main New Year's character will meet guests behind protective screens made of plexiglass. Macy's is getting ready present your own service with online greetings and virtual communication with Santa. At the same time, traditional Santaland will be virtual for the first time this year, Santa will not visit department store guests, as it was in previous years.
The International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas says that while the experience this year will be significantly different from the usual, about 2,000 members of the organization are preparing to visit children in malls, hospitals, schools and homes on the eve of the holidays. It is noted that the most popular this year will be “virtual visits”.
As for malls, in anticipation of the influx of buyers in the pre-New Year period, they are preparing to increase security measures: installing protective screens, purchasing additional thermal cameras and personal protective equipment, and asking guests to make reservations for entertainment events, some of which will be held outdoors. Mall owners note that the requirement to wear masks this year will be mandatory for all Santas, regardless of the rules set by the local authorities of each of the states.