ROBINSON TOWSHIP (KDKA) — The greeting inside the door of the Dick’s Sporting Goods store at The Mall At Robinson says “Welcome Back” and encourages customers to socially distance at at least six feet. That certainly isn’t a problem right now since the store is curbside service only.
Lucia Hrabovsky rolled up to return a pair of shoes and pick up an order of workout pants. She will have to wait a while longer to get back into the store to shop.
“I’d love to do that. I’d love to do it now, but we’re not ready,” she said.
Come Friday, when most of the region moves into the “Yellow Phase” of COVID-19 recovery, stores like Dick’s can welcome customers back inside.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says malls will be limited to opening “stand alone stores that have their own entrance, like some of the big anchor stores, like a Macy’s, some of the other ones, but the internal store, no.”
Macy’s tells KDKA that openings are being staggered based on geographic recoveries. No stores in the Pittsburgh area are being reopened.
Monroeville Mall’s website does not indicate any change in its current status. Only open now are a few restaurants doing take-out only.
In fact, in checking with retailers at Ross Park Mall, there is no indication anything will reopen Friday. The Cheesecake Factory has been open for take-out for some time now.
No sign of anything changing at South Hills Village despite the lifting of the Stay at Home Order.
The Block Northway in Ross Township will see some of its stores spring back to life, but not everyone. Some of the larger retailers are not ready to reopen yet.
Strip malls on the other hand are different because the stores all have independent entries and could fling their doors wide on Friday. But our check indicated sporadic openings are more likely.
Fitzgerald says getting in person shopping back in operation is important to the economy and to jobs, but he’s concerned about the warning from Dr. Anthony Fauci that a rebound of COVID-19 is possible.
“It would be devastating on so many levels,” says Fitzgerald. “First of all, it would mean the health aspect has taken a turn for the worst and the economic aspect has also gone for the worst.”
The county executive says the only way it works is if people take the safety precautions seriously.