Hanes Mall will close temporarily starting at 5 p.m. today, CBL Properties, the mall’s owner and operator, said Thursday.
The decision was made to comply with the stay-at-home order made by Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines on Wednesday. That order takes effect at 5 p.m. today and goes through at least April 16.
CBL is taking the same action with Friendly Shopping Center in Greensboro, which is under a similar order.
It is not clear whether Hanes Mall tenants with their own entrances, such as Belk, J.C. Penney, Dilliard’s and Dave & Buster’s, would be allowed to be open while the mall is closed.
CBL spokeswoman Stacey Keating said Friendly Center “has a number of retailers and businesses that are deemed essential under the order and those will be allowed to continue to operate.”
Those listed on Friendly Center’s website include: Harris Teeter, Whole Foods, Gate City Pharmacy, Walgreens and the U.S. Postal Service.
Keatinfg said 22 restaurants at the shopping center complex will be able to provide take-out or delivery service.
The same applies to Hanes Mall restaurants with an exterior entrance, although its food court will close as part of the overall shutdown.
CBL had kept its shopping centers open even as some of its national peers, such as Simon Property Group, closed theirs temporarily last week.
Winston-Salem is one of several North Carolina municipalities and counties to order its residents to stay home because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“All individuals currently living within the city of Winston-Salem are restricted to stay at their places of residence,” the order reads. “All persons may leave their residences only for essential activities, essential government functions, to operate essential business ...”
Essential activities can include medical appointments, grocery shopping and outdoor recreation, among others.
“Property owners, like CBL & Associates, have multiple stakeholders, including shoppers, tenants and their employees, mall employees, management and mall owners/shareholders,” said Roger Beahm, executive director of the Center for Retail Innovation at Wake Forest University School of Business.
“Every one of these groups, including shoppers, will lose once the mall closes. We’ve already seen it happening over the past several weeks as each stakeholder group held out as long as they could.:
Beahm said that “while protecting pubic health is paramount, a strategy of trying to balance this public health need and — at the same time — trying to meet at least some of those needs of other stakeholder groups has been extremely challenging for CBL & Associates.
“With a shelter-in-place restriction going into effect, there should not be enough traffic to a mall location right now to even warrant keeping a business open.
“While no retailer ever likes to lose, losing now in the short run is likely the only strategy these brick-and-mortar retailers have to still win in the long run,” Beahm said.
At least 27 Hanes Mall or outparcel tenants have closed or shortened their operating hours since March 16. Most offered initial re-opening date plans.