One month after Westfield was cleared to open the Valley Fair mall up to shoppers, it has shut its doors again. On July 13, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered many indoor businesses to close again because of a spike in COVID-19 cases statewide. The closure included shopping malls like Valley Fair. Santa Clara County Public Health quickly echoed the governor’s order, telling malls they had to close by July 15.
The closure negates much of the relief that businesses received when the mall initially reopened on June 15.
“Guests were excited to be back at Westfield Valley Fair when we reopened. In fact, retail sales were up over 50 percent from the same period last year, and traffic was continuing to increase each week,” said a Westfield spokesperson.
Westfield says it is doing what it can to make this latest closure as easy as possible on its businesses. Stores with outside entrances like Bloomingdale’s remain open. Meanwhile, many of the retailers within the mall are offering curbside pickup with limited hours daily. Several of the restaurants are offering take out and delivery.
Valley Fair reopened on June 15 when state regulations regarding COVID-19 eased. During the month that it was open, Westfield implemented new procedures to help businesses maintain social distancing with their customers.
“Westfield Valley Fair rolled out a suite of digital services when it reopened, including Line Pass. Line Pass is a proprietary digital queue system that offers a safer shopping experience for both guests and retailers by allowing customers to join a retailer waitlist or book an appointment in advance from their home, car, or while in the center,” said a Westfield spokesperson.
The center also expanded its Answers on the Spot program to provide real-time responses to customers about store and center hours as well as health and safety practices. It installed hand sanitizing stations and offered reminders to shoppers to maintain proper social distancing within the mall and on escalators. Many stores within Valley Fair also installed signs asking shoppers to wear a mask.
The initial closure in March came just days after Westfield opened the first of its stores in its $1.1 billion expansion project. The newest wing of Valley Fair includes several high-end retailers including Bloomingdale’s, Anthropologie and Rod and Gunn. There is also a Digital District.
Westfield says that despite the current situation with COVID-19, it will continue with its expansion plans.
“There is still a great deal of excitement around the new expansion at Westfield Valley Fair — whether about our Luxury Collection or the innovative new Digital District — and we look forward to celebrating new store and restaurant openings in the months to come,” said a Westfield spokesperson.