Since the retail sector fully reopened on August 16, malls in south Trinidad have experienced a steady flow of customers.
Newsday visited Gulf City Mall and spoke to the mall’s public relations officer Sarah Ragoonath.
Ragoonath said while foot traffic has slowed down, business has been steady.
She added, “The mall’s tenants are now getting back to normal and shoppers have adapted because they are wearing their masks and sanitising.
“We noticed that during month-end time, foot traffic picks up drastically.”
However, she said the mall’s management and tenants are mindful that covid19 is still affecting people’s ability to shop in different ways.
A few of the store spaces unoccupied, but Ragoonath said those tenants had left for reasons that were not associated with any financial hardship caused by the mall’s fees.
Instead, she said the opposite occurred as some tenants had their rents reduced during the closure of the retail sector, and some tenants were still receiving assistance.
Prospective tenants are working with the mall’s management to finalise details to rent the empty spaces. The management and tenants are now looking forward to Christmas and putting things in place to attract customers.
“We are excited because Christmas is always a special time for us at Gulf City. Decorations will be up soon and Brian Mac Farlane is once again doing our decorations,” said Ragoonath.
While the mall will host events for the upcoming Divali and Christmas holidays, it says these events will be scaled back to meet public health regulations and ensure the safety of customers.
South Park's marketing consultant Rory Moses also told Newsday business has been steady since the reopening of the retail sector.
Moses said the mall’s management has been working with tenants on promotional activities to boost sales. One is a mall-wide sale to be held on Sunday.
Moses added, “We will have more promotional activities for Divali and Christmas which we hope will attract customers to shop.
“We know that the reopening of cinemas and in-house dining on October 11 will definitely assist our tenants.”
From October 11, cinemas, restaurants, casinos, fitness centres and bars will be open – to vaccinated members of staff and the public.
The Prime Minister made the announcement at a press conference at the Diplomatic Centre on Thursday.