🚗 🚙 Turn your trusty old car into trustworthy journalism Learn more
COVID-19

Running a mall, in a time of social distancing

Kai Ryssdal and Bennett Purser Mar 13, 2020
HTML EMBED:
COPY
People walk through a Manhattan shopping mall on Jan. 30, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
COVID-19

Running a mall, in a time of social distancing

Kai Ryssdal and Bennett Purser Mar 13, 2020
People walk through a Manhattan shopping mall on Jan. 30, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
HTML EMBED:
COPY

As more officials urge the public to practice social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic — avoiding mass gatherings and maintaining distance from others when possible — what does that mean for malls and shopping centers?

For years, getting customers in the door has been challenging for many malls, even without a health crisis. Alana Ferko manages the Butte Plaza Mall in Butte, Montana. She spoke with “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal about how she’s feeling about the latest events surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak. While there are no confirmed cases yet of the virus in the state, the governor has declared a state of emergency as a precaution.

Ferko recently grappled with cancelling an upcoming concert at the mall with a traveling band, part of the town’s St. Patrick’s day celebration.

“We were in the midst of canceling their performance here, because I just couldn’t put the public at risk,” Ferko said. “But they themselves, god bless them, they canceled their trip to Butte.”

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.