coronavirus

‘Strange': Shoppers React to Closings of Malls

NBC Universal, Inc.

The Wrentham Village Premium Outlets closed down at 7 p.m. Wednesday due to the coronavirus pandemic. And like all Simon Malls in Massachusetts and across the U.S., it will be shut down through the end of the month.

The same goes for the usually-busy South Shore Plaza in Braintree, which is now empty.

"It's kind of strange that it's not open," said one shopper.

Many say the ongoing daily closures are causing them some stress.

"I think it's good just to keep people away from each other," said Judy King of Quincy. "But it's just very stressful, and I'm starting to feel the stress, I'm sure everyone else is, not being able to do our routine."

"The health and safety of our shoppers, retailers and employees is of paramount importance and we are taking this step to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities," Simon Properties said in a statement.

Braintree Mall Employee Kiana Tucker said:

"I don't think that right now, out of anything that could be going on, that shopping is a priority," said Kiana Tucker, who works at South Shore Plaza. "I feel like a lot of people right now are focused on themselves, and 'Oh, I'm going to be fine, I'm fine,' but there's a lot of people coming to the mall that aren't fine."

The Wrentham Outlets is the largest outdoor outlet in New England with more than than 170 stores and vendors.

With the mall closures across the country, so many workers will be temporarily out of a job.

"I'm a shift manager at Starbucks, so it's hard, I have bills but at the end of the day. I would rather be alive then broke," said Tucker.

Some of the other large Simon malls in the state that are impacted include the malls in Burlington and Natick.

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