By Clara Pasieka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
New Brunswick’s three largest shopping malls have reduced their hours.
CF Champlain in Dieppe announced that effective Monday, the new operating hours will be Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and 11 a.m, to 5 p.m on Sundays. Previously the mall opened at 10 a.m.
“Based on the current business environment, we have decided to update our hours of operations,” said Brian MacMullin, general manager at CF Champlain.
“We will continue to pay close attention to the COVID-19 environment and adjust our practices as required.”
MacMullin noted that malls have taken extensive health and safety measures to continue to be a safe place to shop.
McAllister Place in Saint John and Regent Mall in Fredericton posted new hours which took effect Saturday, and will be in place until further notice.
Hours at these two malls are now Monday to Wednesday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday to Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Jim Cormier, Atlantic director of the Retail Council of Canada, said while it’s not common for malls to reduce their hours at this time of year, the pandemic has thrown many practices out the window.
“It’s about survival,” he said, noting that the apparel industry which has dominated malls was among the hardest hit by the pandemic as many consumers turned to the internet for clothing purchases, especially everyday or lounge wear in which sizes could be more easily determined without trying things on.
If you are a retailer in a mall, you are beholden to the landlord’s decisions, Cormier said. “But even some retailers that own their buildings may make different decisions that they have in the past about hours.”
Staying open longer means additional costs, like labour, he said.