Scenes at retail outlets during Black Friday last year. This year mall owners are trying to enforce social distancing.
Scenes at retail outlets during Black Friday last year. This year mall owners are trying to enforce social distancing.

Black Friday in the time of Covid-19

By Duncan Guy Time of article published Nov 21, 2020

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Durban - Extended trading hours and extra personnel to enforce social distancing and other regulations are among the ways shopping malls and centres have adapted to Black Friday in the time of Covid-19.

Galleria Mall in Amanzimtoti will close its mezzanine parking levels to accommodate the overflow of crowds, said marketing manager Anusha Timul.

“We are also extended our trading hours to spread the crowds,” she said.

Further north, at La Lucia Mall, Black Friday shoppers will be able to use existing services at certain outlets offering delivery of online orders to the car park.

“One can shop at La Lucia Mall safely in store at any store; or shop online at any of our anchor tenants for home or office delivery,” said centre manager Vanessa Blevins.

She added that shoppers could also shop using click and collect facility by purchasing online and collecting in the car park or in store.

“We have two designated click and collect parking zones in the undercover carpark,” she said.

Extra measures will also be applied at various centres of the Broll group, said the company’s Adeela Haffejee, including additional security and cleaning staff.

Umlazi Mega City has increased trading hours and will be open from 7am to 7pm.

Springfield Value Centre, renowned for Black Friday shopping, is an open centre and manages social distancing more easily, she said.

“The main gate entrance will be open from 5am to avoid a crowd gathering outside the centre,” said Haffejee.

At Davenport Square, an entrance and exit on each end of the mall, along with speed fencing, allows for a one way flow of shoppers to better manage social distancing.

“Several elderly customers visit the centre and they will be given preference on the day,” said Haffejee.

On the Bluff, Bluff Towers "several of our retailers have extended Black Friday deals to before and after the actual day allowing more time to shop,” said Haffejee.

The Independent on Saturday

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