When the King of Prussia Mall eventually reopens, there will be a series of safety protocols that its employees will be required to follow while its retailers and shoppers will be encouraged to voluntarily adhere to similar measures to help keep the coronavirus from spreading, the Philadelphia Business Journal reports.
No date has yet been set by owner Simon Property Group (NYSE: SPG) to reopen the King of Prussia Mall and its other Philadelphia-area retail properties, including Philadelphia Mills and the Philadelphia Premium Outlets. When shoppers do return to King of Prussia, they will be arriving at a mall that will be on the cusp of a transition as a result of the pandemic and its effect on the retail industry, as well as forces already impacting it.
“This will accelerate a bunch of trends that we have been talking about when it comes to retail,” said Shawn Howton, a professor of finance and real estate at Villanova University and director of its Daniel M. DiLella Center for Real Estate.
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From an increase in online shopping to the survival of restaurants, all types of retailers are being tested at this time, Howton said. Some questions that will arise from the changes underway include whether restaurants need to provide more space for social distancing and if a landlord will adjust rents downward to reflect that.