Metro Detroit malls reopen, but many stores inside still closed

Retail resumes as spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) slows

Metro Detroit malls reopen, but many stores inside still closed
Metro Detroit malls reopen, but many stores inside still closed

DETROIT – With retailers now allowed to partially reopen in Metro Detroit due to the slowing spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), several malls in the area reopened Thursday.

Malls reopen in Metro Detroit: Can you touch surfaces? Is it safe to try on clothes?

Briarwood in Ann Arbor, Great Lakes Crossing and Twelve Oaks saw foot traffic begin early in the morning.

What shoppers learned Thursday is there’s a major difference between the doors being open outside and the store doors being open inside. There wasn’t much business overall Thursday, but that will soon change.

UPDATE -- May 28, 2020: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 56,014; Death toll now at 5,372

Michigan is looking to get back to normal, but in terms of shopping, that’s not as easy as simply declaring the malls have reopened.

Of the roughly 250 stores inside Twelve Oaks, only a handful actually opened to customers. Some put up signs saying they won’t be open until next week, while others are leaving their options open.

There was a lot of fanfare about retail returning to Metro Detroit, but Thursday left some shoppers disappointed.

“I needed to buy some stuff, and unfortunately, most of the stores are closed,” Mo Abuqualbain said.

“It was a lot of exercise,” Amanda, another shopper, said. “Not much was open. A couple of stores (were) open. We were excited to go in and get out of the house and see some stores, but unfortunately there aren’t many open.”

Tables and chairs at the food court are missing. The water fountains are turned off.

“It takes time to ramp up,” Twelve Oaks General Manager Dan Jones said. “We’ll be seeing more stores come online, but the expectations should be tempered so you won’t see every store, and it is by appointment only, so people should call ahead of time, seek out their favorite store.”

Bonnie Duncan said she wasn’t disappointed by her short visit.

“I just wanted to get out,” Duncan said. “It’s time. You can tell people are anxious to get out of the house, even if they’re not buying.”

There’s no valet available at the mall, and the children’s play area is also closed.

It’s best to either call ahead of get the Twelve Oaks phone app, which allows customers to set up appointments to get into stores.

About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.