Opinion: Via Outlets boss on how to cater for socially distant shopping

Via Outlets

As Covid-19 spread across Europe and was declared a global pandemic, Via Outlets was ordered to close eight of its 11 premium fashion outlet centres spread across nine different European countries – specifically those in Central Europe and Iberia.

After 12 weeks of restrictions, there have been some glimmers of hope as lockdowns have been lifted and restrictions eased.

While many countries and regions still have weeks to go until their societies can go back to some sort of normality – as the UK will on June 15 – Via Outlets has already been able to reopen seven of our closed centres, bringing the total number of open centres to 10. The remaining one in Portugal is likely to open in the next few weeks.

As long awaited as getting the green light to reopen is, it poses a whole new set of challenges for the retail industry, which must adapt quickly and remain on constant alert to ensure a safe experience for centre staff, retailers, brand partners and guests. So, how have we handled it and what have we learned?

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