Mumbai Unlock 3.0: 'Sanitisation today, will deal with customers from tomorrow,' say shop owners
Shops inside Atria Mall say Day 1 is all about sanitising the premises, products, and that they will be offering their services from Thursday instead
At Worli's Atria Mall which opened at 11 am on Wednesday, only a handful of stores were functioning—primarily for sanitising their premises.
"Around 15-20 customers have come since morning," said Usmaan, a security guard at the mall. "Most of our security staff, including me, live nearby so coming to work was no trouble. But two employees were unable to come because of the rain."
The underground parking attendant at the entrance said only two cars had come since morning and that there were not more than two-three customers inside the mall.
Imran Hasan Sheikh, manager of one of the shops which sell shoes and bags, said, "We opened late today as all of us reached around 12.30 pm because of the rain. Today is about cleaning our premises." The footfall here is low but at our Andheri store 30 customers have visited since the morning."
Melita Suiam, manager of a salon said, "Today is only for sanitising our premises, we will be accepting customers from Thursday. We have fixed clients whom we are expecting to visit us. All customers have to take an appointment and then come. No walk-ins."
Shiraz Ginwalla, 34, manager of a shop which deals in motorcycle equipment and accessories, said, "We are sanitising our store today but are open to selling if any customer comes. We have had no customers as off yet."
Kunal Vardhan, the owner of Atria Mall, said he had expected the first day of reopening to be 'subdued,' but looking on the bright side, he said that it was at least a good sign that they [malls] have been given permission to reopen. "In the larger picture, the situation is somewhat similar to what we were expecting at night time in the malls after they were made 24/7. The heavy rainfall has also played a spoilsport today. Also, about the coming weeks, there is a lot of anxiety among shopkeepers and customers about footfall."
When asked why Atria did not prepare for the opening day in advance — much like the other malls in the city, Vardhan said, "Two-thirds of the mall is only entertainment, like restaurants and theatres, which are not allowed (currently). We (Atria) are not really like a mall, but positioned more like a convenience building."
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