Shopping malls reopen in Denmark under new rules

Shopping malls reopen in Denmark under new rules
Kolding Storcenter reopens on Monday. Photo: Claus Fisker/Ritzau Scanpix
Shopping malls in Denmark reopened on Monday, with stores banned from offering big discounts to customers, extra guards hired to limit the number of customers, and thoroughfares divided into right and left lanes.
Shopping centres have also placed hand sanitiser dispensers at all around the centre, particularly around areas where people sit and congregate.  
 
“We are expecting a normal shopping day, nothing extraordinary,”  Lotte Vestergaard Skou, who runs malls in Kolding and Randers for Deas Group told The Local, just minutes before they opened at 10am on Monday. 
 
“Life has been strange I think for everybody who has been closed down for the last 8 weeks, and it's the same for shopping centres: empty shopping centres are not meant to be.”
 
Vestergaard Skou had a moment of drama early this morning when the external marketing department mistakenly posted up adverts on the malls' websites offering discounts of 25 percent and 30 percent at the Sportsmaster, Only and Deichmann stores, defying government advice. 
 
“That was a mistake, marketing-wise we have a strict campaign where we advise people to just have normal, safe shopping trip with no other issues, and these special offers were a mistake, we saw it this morning and we took them away.” 

 
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When Denmark's government announced its plans to allow shopping malls to reopen it recommended against offering big discounts which might lead to a rush of customers.  
 
“Malls and the shops connected to them should avoid discounts, activities and the like which might create queues and heavy traffic around certain areas and inside the shops,” the recommendations state. 
 
Vestergaard Skou said that her centre had put in place safeguards to encourage customers to keep at least 2m distance between one another. 
 
“We have created sort of roads where you have to always keep to the right when you walk around in the area of the centre, and of course we have marked that you need to create a distance to your fellow shopping partners.” 
 
The centre had worked with the individual shops to decide on a maximum number of customers for each one, and also for the mall as a whole. 
 
“We have calculated this very carefully,” she explained. “We have more guards than we usually to, and we count people as they come in and when the limit hits 90 percent of what we are legally allowed to have, then we will send out an alarm to the guards to stop people coming in.” 
 
She said she doubted this limit would be hit on Monday, however. 
 
She also said she did not yet know whether people in Denmark would do more shopping than normal over the coming weeks, as they stock up on the clothes, shoes and other seasonal summer purchases they were not able to buy in person in April. 
 
Restaurants and cafés will not open until next Monday so the food courts and coffee chains in the centres will remain closed for one more week. 
 
 
 
 
 

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