How are Colorado malls adapting to COVID?


Image via Destiny Auckerman

An employee working at Southwest Plaza during the pandemic on Mar 30, 2021.

Cory Porter, Reporter

The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation that has changed the ins and outs of industries across America. One industry impacted heavily during these times is shopping malls. As a unique combination of dining, entertainment, and shopping, malls were staples of America’s consumer culture before the state of society brought by COVID-19. However, in an era of encouraged social distancing, consumer culture has changed drastically. The nature of the pandemic has shifted the consumer market to a more convenient virtual process of shopping. To adapt to their online competition, many department stores within Colorado malls are introducing curbside pickup accommodations. Department stores within malls like the Park Meadows Mall in Douglas County and Colorado Mills Mall in Jefferson County have a wide variety of stores participating in the curbside options. Stores such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, LEGO, Zumiez, and Levi’s all offer curbside pickup at these shopping mall locations. Higher end malls such as the Cherry Creek Shopping Center in Denver offers a different array of stores participating in curbside options, such as Louis Vuitton, Neiman Marcus, and David Yurman.

Department stores are not the only thing in malls that have had to adapt to the pandemic, movie theaters and food courts within shopping malls have been heavily impacted as well. Movie theaters and food courts only able to operate at 50% capacity depending on the safety level within the respected county. These establishments must enforce Colorado mask and sanitation mandates as well to limit the spread of COVID-19. While circumstances have looked up for malls since Colorado Governor Jared Polis shifted from a stay-at-home policy to a safer-at-home policy, the consumer world has turned completely virtual, and may just change the way American’s treat shopping in post-COVID life.