UPDATE: Only five stores remain open at Orchard Park Mall - InfoNews

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UPDATE: Only five stores remain open at Orchard Park Mall

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April 03, 2020 - 7:30 AM

Shopping malls in B.C. have not yet been ordered to close but they might as well be: Orchard Park Mall, the largest shopping centre between Vancouver and Calgary has just five stores open and at times even fewer customers.

Shoppers Drug Mart, LensCrafters, iWorld Solutions, Best Buy and Pearl Vision are the only stores not closed. The mall operators said March 19 that it would remain open with limited hours if stores are operating unless ordered by the province to close, as many other provinces have already done. In a statement, the mall urged residents to contact their local MLAs or MPs if they had further questions about why the mall was inexplicably still operating.

"We can assure you, when we are mandated to close, we will close."

B.C. has ordered bars, restaurants, personal services and many other non-essential businesses to close, along with public gatherings — but not shopping malls.

READ MORE: BREAKING: B.C. declares public health emergency, orders all bars and clubs to shut down

LensCrafters and Pearl Vision employees said they are only taking customers if they have an emergency, like if a person breaks their glasses and can’t see.

Currently, all iWorld locations are still open with limited hours, said sales manager Sam Ryder, adding he’s happy to follow what head office wants to do with the stores.

He said employees are provided with the option to be laid off if they can’t work at the store, and many of the employees chose this option because they’re students.

At least one person has to be in the store to make shipments and receive new products, he said. Currently, Ryder and one other employee are working in the store, which would normally have eight employees.

There has also been a few customers who have been buying iPads and other electronics as people adjust to life online, he said. They’re also performing home deliveries and making the website more accessible, he said.

Ryder would still keep the store open even if shipping and receiving was not done in the store, as “people still need questions answered about their products and we’re still getting traffic,” he said.

Amanda Zais, with The Tax Pros Income Tax Service, said her kiosk and Best Buy are still open at the mall.

Mall hours are currently 12 to 5 p.m.

A call to Orchard Park Mall for comment was not immediately returned.

This story was updated April 5, to include information about the kiosk and Best Buy.


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