KING OF PRUSSIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The days of crowding the parking lots and corridors of shopping malls feel almost like a distant memory as the coronavirus has shuttered the doors of shopping centers.
"The consumer behavior will take a while to adjust," says Jack Kleinhenz, chief economist of the National Retail Federation.
Starting May 1, Simon Property Group, which owns King of Prussia Mall, will reopen 49 malls in 10 states across the country, which have not been as severely impacted by the virus.
Malls will reopen in Texas, Indiana, Georgia, Missouri, Tennessee, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alaska and Mississippi.
Simon Property Group CEO David Simon is a member of President Donald Trump's advisory board to restart the economy.
Inside these malls, store hours will be limited, certain entrances will be closed and shoppers will be offered a mask and hand sanitizer at the door. They may even be asked to take a voluntary temperature screening.
Steven Brown works at a large clothing retailer in North Wales, Pennsylvania. He expects to see safety changes that last for a while.
"Definitely face masks and deeper cleaning. Limiting the people inside the store and the people in the fitting room," said Brown.
With added protection for shoppers and employees, reaction to the reopening of malls is mixed.
"America has got to get back to work, some way or another. Whatever way we can do it that keeps people safe and healthy it's important," says Robert Toporek of King of Prussia.
Wesley Robinson of Coatesville says health conditions will keep him away from crowds long after our area malls reopen.
"Me being black, with high blood pressure, sugar diabetes, no, I'm not going out. Not even taking that chance," says Robinson.
Retailers inside of malls can make their own decisions on whether to open stores.
Some argue that reopening shopping malls and stores will make a major impact on the suffering job market.
With 30 million Americans filing for unemployment, it's not clear how many will be rushing out to shop.
Simon Property Group has not yet set a reopening date for King of Prussia Mall.
MORE COVID-19 COVERAGE
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney's revised budget includes layoffs, tax increases
Pa. golf courses reopen, PennDOT resuming construction on roads and bridges
South Jersey doctor suffers stroke after COVID-19 infection
U.S. essential workers hold May Day strike, demand time off, hazard pay
More than 1M infected with coronavirus have recovered worldwide
Full guide: COVID-19 help, information and resources
Keeping Reusable Shopping Bags Sanitized and Germ-Free during COVID-19 Outbreak
How to get groceries, supplies, takeout, online workouts and home projects while quarantine
Things for everyone to do to pass the time at home
Great homeschooling and educational resources for parents and students
Free 6abc printable activities for kids to do at home
Work from home: Here are some companies hiring remote workers
CONNECT WITH US
Share your coronavirus story with Action News