Oneida County is in phase two and retail was on that list. However, many stores still cannot re-open.
Owner of Rainbow Zen, David Etsen says they were preparing to re-open last Friday and then told they could not.
“The governor on Friday announced at the last moment that if 100,000 square feet or more, shopping centers would not be allowed to re-open.”—Etsen
Some of the anchor stores like Macy’s, Dicks Sporting Goods and Boscovs were able to re-open because they have an outdoor entrance.
“Our question is why can’t we re-open? What can we do? What are the guidelines that we need to follow?” —Etsen
Pyramid Management Group owns various malls in New York including Sangertown Square Mall. Rainbow Zen is also located in the Destiny USA and Salmon Run Mall. Etsen says the process is arbitrary and discriminatory.
“I can go into a Walmart now and we’ve all been there. They’re jammed packed. There are no standards, there are no you can only have X amount of people per store.”—Etsen
The stores are able to do curbside pick-up and for Renee Vohra who is co-owner of Scentations Perfume and Cologne Kiosk in the mall says she is happy the governor is taking the re-opening slowly. She says her kiosk is located in an area that would not be easy to maintain 6 feet in social distancing.
“I think it’s a good idea to start with the curbside and see if there’s anymore spike in positive cases and if not then we can proceed from there.” —Vohra
“Those don’t really work either and as you can see throughout this mall all these stores are closed even these corporate stores because they know it just doesn’t work.” —Etsen
“I want everyone to be safe and all of our customers to enjoy coming back to the mall and feeling safe.” —Vohra