Shoppers at Trincity Mall were so eager for the reopening of the retail sector that some arrived even before employees.
“As I reach this morning it had a line outside and as I walk in people come in behind me,” Kurt Murray, manager of Phats International said to Guardian Media.
“I feeling liberated!” a woman with two shopping bags shouted at us during the interview with Murray.
“This is why I was anxious to reopen, I excited!” Murray said with a wry smile looking in the direction of the shopper.
The apparel store wasn’t the only outlet busy at the mall. In the last three and half months since the closing of the industry it seemed as if people had damaged electronics that they were desperate to change.
“My pores raise when I saw the line outside our store,” Vashti Cooblal, manager of Sham’s Electronics said, “it’s a wonderful feeling not only for me but all the stores here.”
Store owners said they were pleasantly surprised by the constant stream of customers, especially given how the economy has impacted the public.
“We were thinking it would hardly have people but they still coming out so that’s good,” Felisha Ramnarine owner of Hello Kids said.
But with the crowds came a concern from some shoppers. Shopper Ray Hayban, who was with his wife and two children, said he was quite worried about what he was seeing.
“One of these sports stores, we observed that it over packed with people, so I told my wife do not enter because we have kids and this is what people not studying, they are doing exactly what the Prime Minister said not to do, but I guess it goes into one ear and out the other.”
Cooblal, at Sham’s Electronics, said people may be getting carried away with the return of mall operations.
“Sometimes customers come in and it’s like they’re not aware that there are protocols to be followed and you have to remind them to sanitize and watch their distance,” Cooblal said.
However, at least 39 retail stores in the large mall didn’t have to worry about overcrowding and that’s because they’ve shut their doors.
Many with large sheets of brown paper covering what used to be their displays with signs saying that due to the pandemic and its challenges, they are no longer operating in the mall.
“If you see how much places shut up shop,” a man exclaimed to whomever he was speaking to on his cell phone as he walked by a particularly deserted area in the mall.
Guardian Media asked mall officials how many stores would have terminated their contracts