Some Texas stores stay closed during economy re-opening, one retail giant swings its doors wide open


AUSTIN (KXAN) — As Phase 1 of Governor Greg Abbott’s move to re-open the Texas economy begins, many stores are saying they won’t be welcoming back shoppers yet.

But other name-brand doors swung wide open.

The Domain’s Simon Center took KXAN on a tour showcasing safety measures they are taking to help ease shoppers concerns.

As part of the reopening process, Simon published what its calling the ‘Exposure Control Policy.’ The policy is posted on the centers website.

The center has posted safety signs outside storefronts with guidelines for stores employees to follow, along with social distancing measures customers should take.

You will also find hand sanitizer stations, and certain areas blocked off like valet parking and the playground areas. Simon Property Group has also reduced its hours.

“The reason for that is because we want to give our house keepers enough time in the evening to disinfect the property, because we want to make sure it’s safe,” said Irma Caspor, Domain General Manager.

The newer Domain Northside says they’re also taking extended safety precautions.

“Domain Northside is proactively working with our janitorial team to focus and increase cleaning in high-touch common areas including elevators, trash cans and hallways,” said Sara Hoing, a spokesperson for the Domain Northside. “In addition, we are in close coordination with our tenants to provide the safest possible environment for everyone.”

Meanwhile shoppers share feelings of both apprehension and excitement.

“My family and I have lived here for four years. It’s been strange to see not as many people out,” said Domain resident, Heather Mathers. “We’re excited but also apprehensive of it opening. We are happy Texas is beginning to open up, slowly so people have choices.”

Even with the governor’s 25% go-ahead, those choices will be limited.

Many shops are choosing to keep their doors closed, despite the Domain’s extended safety measures.

“We’ve taken a hit, but you know safety is of utmost importance,” said Dinah Obeid, Owner of Scout and Molly’s.

Dinah Obeid owns Scout and Molly’s, a clothing boutique inside the Domain’s Northside. It’s one of the original-local stores to join the center four years ago.

Dinah Obeid, Owner of Scout & Molly’s, Domain Northside.

“It’s a whole new world — how we do business is going to have to change completely. We always clean the store, but in terms of how often we disinfect, its going to have to be with every customer coming in, making sure people wear gloves and masks,” said Obeid. “Also, making sure the merchandise is clean. We are in a soft good store, we sell apparel….It’s not necessarily easy to make sure things are disinfected anytime somebody touches something.”

Obeid is choosing to stay closed for the time being. With just a weeks notice from Governor Abbott’s decision, she says there’s too many things up in the air, and it’s too soon to open.

Hours of operation will vary per location, but Northside tenants reopening Friday include: Cyclone Anaya, Free People, Perry’s, Salvation Pizza, Taverna, Tommy Bahama Home, Viva Day Spa (retail only), and Yard House.

The Domain’s Simon Center says it has 35 stores open for in-store shopping and delivery with more to open soon.

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