Canada's biggest mall had to partially shut down after the pandemic struck, but they're springing back soon. Alberta just released guidelines for reopening stores this week, and the mall's following along. But you don't have to wait to shop at West Edmonton Mall, as long as you don't mind standing outside.
According to Alberta's multi-phased plan, retail stores, restaurants and bars, even some personal services like barbershops will be able to open as soon as Thursday, May 14.
In a release shared with Narcity, the West Edmonton Mall says they're following the province's lead in reopening, though they didn't include exact dates when they'll start doing so.
However, if you're feeling antsy about getting your shopping done, several stores in the mall are already open to customers. Like other shopping centres across the nation, stores in West Ed are offering curbside pickup.
With all that said, some things in the mall never closed to begin with. According to their Monday, March 16 update, the Fantasyland Hotel, West Edmonton Mall Inn, and shopping centre never fully closed.
Essential services like grocery stores or pharmacies in the mall are open, and services like dentists and optometrists also take emergency appointments.
But bigger attractions like Galaxyland or the waterpark could stay closed for much longer.
Curbside pickup is like ordering takeout from a restaurant — customers can call in and order what they want, and the store will drop it off near one of the entrances.
However, every store is handling it a bit differently, according to their site. They recommend shoppers first call the respective store to find out how the ordering works.
There are only ten stores offering the service for now. But according to their release, they'll be opening up more entrances in time, with other stores joining the party.
In terms of actually opening up, shopping at the West Ed is going to look a lot different. Guests are "encouraged to wear a mask" when visiting, according to their statement to Narcity, and all frontline staff will be wearing PPE.
To follow the province's advice, the food court would only sit people at 50% capacity. They're also getting rid of food trays, with meals handed out take-out style.
As for iconic attractions like their enormous waterpark or the Galaxyland theme park, these were the first sites closed by the mall and will remain closed for now.
They didn't mention the parks in their release, but they potentially fall under the category of "larger gatherings" — which won't be allowed until stage three of Alberta's plan.