Ned Lamont is allowing retail stores and malls to

with some preparing best they can to reopen soon

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Erica Drzewiecki Staff

A delivery taking place at Westfarms Mall Tuesday, indicative of a potential reopening as early as May 20. Buy this photo

Erica Drzewiecki Staff

A security guards mans the main entrance into Westfarms Mall, where employees are preparing for a potential reopening. Buy this photo

## ## Erica Drzewiecki Staff

A few cars parked outside Westfarms Mall’s main entrance Tuesday, indicative of employees preparing for a potential reopening. Buy this photo

Light jazz played unassumingly outside the entrance of Kohl’s in Plainville Tuesday afternoon, but there was not a soul in sight.

Across the Rt. 372 plaza, AMC Theatres hovered like the abandoned movieplex it has become, tinted black windows reflecting another day without a matinee. A few cars dotted the mostly empty parking lot; in them, people with no agenda they cared to share.

At least there was a little more life emanating from Kohl’s, where a handful of employees are serving online shoppers taking advantage of pre summer deals on shorts and swimwear. An A frame sign on the sidewalk directed people to park and press “I’m here” in their confirmation text or email to indicate they had arrived to pick up a purchase curbside.

Gov. Ned Lamont is allowing retail stores and malls to reopen at 50 percent capacity on May 20, as part of Phase One of the state’s “Reopen Connecticut” campaign.

Activity at Westfarms Mall this week gave some indication to preparations taking place for a potential reopening.

Contractors, police, mall management and store employees parked outside the main entrance, between California Pizza Kitchen and Macy’s.

A security guard inside the main lobby area checked in the few essential employees there to get the building and stores ready for customers in about a week’s time.

The state has released a lengthy list of regulations specific to retail stores ahead of the reopening. People will not be allowed to use fitting rooms, for example, and employees must undergo training for new cleaning protocol.

“We are trying to get the stores reopened but it is all to the state’s standards,” explained Al Violette, building services manager for Nordstrom’s, one of Westfarms’ anchor stores, and the Nordstrom’s Rack in the plaza next door to the mall.

“Until we get hand sanitizer at all the entrances and plexi glass cover alls for all the registers, we can’t reopen,” he added. “We ordered the Purell stands four months ago. Until those show up or we get some other type of direction, we don’t have any idea when we will open.”

Stores that have outside entrances currently have the option to offer curbside pickup for online orders, so places like Nordstrom’s are doing that for the time being.

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