Westfield Valley Fair is back open at full capacity and ready to welcome customers. The mall officially re-opened to full capacity on June 15, when the state returned to business, but hosted a summer celebration on the weekend of June 25 to mark the occasion.
“We’re celebrating both the reopening of California, the opening of our expansion and 80 new stores, as well as the kickoff of summer,” said Kate Diefenderfer, Valley Fair’s Marketing Director
The summer celebration included a kick-off event with food, games and a DJ. Representatives from San Jose and Santa Clara were both on hand to celebrate the grand reopening.
“It feels like we are all released now to be out with people to have fun, to eat, to shop, to really be together as a community,” said Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor. “Thank you so much to Westfield Valley Fair for providing us this wonderful venue for our community gatherings. We’re all going to have a wonderful time here. I can see spending a lot of time in this mall.”
Also present from Santa Clara, Council Members Suds Jain and Kathy Watanabe.
Valley Fair debuted its expansion just a few weeks before the COVID-19 shutdown in March of last year. While the shutdown prevented large groups from gathering at the mall, dozens of new stores and restaurants opened just prior to or during the partial closure including Bloomingdale’s, King’s Fish House and Bamboo Sushi.
Diefenderfer says despite the shutdown, the opening of new businesses and luxury sales really helped Valley Fair thrive during the pandemic.
“Our top performing category is luxury. It actually has performed above 2019 numbers throughout the pandemic, and continued to grow. We’ve also introduced new stores,” said Diefenderfer. “We’ve really seen the audience…and some of the things shift based on the introductions of new categories here. So, our movie theater, our dining, the sit down dining, things that didn’t exist prior to the redevelopment have really benefited and proven to our success.”
She also says some of the things that were developed during the pandemic will stick around well after this grand re-opening. Including an easier way to order to go food from mall restaurants through Kitchens United and outdoor dining.
“We added these outdoor patios as a COVID relief buffer and we’ve actually worked with many of the restaurants to now keep them even though that they’re fully open,” said Diefenderfer. “Being in California, it’s one of those trends that we realized should be here to stay. It’s something that has really benefited them…We have these common areas, seating patios and Ramen Nagi, for instance, has additional seating and it’s something that we’re partnering with them very closely on to continue.”
Valley Fair is expected to add as many as 20 new stores and restaurants through the remainder of 2021. The mall reduced hours to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays because of COVID, but is expected to expand those hours to 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays starting on July 12. Weekend hours are back to normal.