Ala Moana Center is open, but it’s hardly business as usual

Ala Moana Center is open, but it’s hardly business as usual

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Ala Moana Center, Hawaii’s largest mall, opened for business Friday for the first time in nearly two months.

But it was hardly business as usual.

Just about one-fourth of the 350 stores at the mall opened Friday, the first day they were able to after restrictions were lifted. Macy’s is among the stores that are waiting to swing open their doors.

A sign on the anchor’s store said they would open next week.

In fact, most of the anchor stores at Ala Moana were not open Friday.

A number of stores reopened at Ala Moana Center on Friday, but most stores decided to wait a little longer.
A number of stores reopened at Ala Moana Center on Friday, but most stores decided to wait a little longer. (Source: Hawaii News Now)
Signage is posted all over Ala Moana Center reminding customers to wear mask and practice good social distancing.
Signage is posted all over Ala Moana Center reminding customers to wear mask and practice good social distancing. (Source: Hawaii News Now)

But a number of locally-owned stores did reopen, including Na Hoku and Local Motion.

Julia MacDonald, district manager at Na Hoku, is relieved to be open and says everything gets sanitized after someone touches it.

“I’m so excited to get back in working with our customers. We miss them so much,” she said.

The mall’s reopening didn’t bring out crowds Friday morning, but there were some sizable groups mulling through the center and venturing into stores.

Several said they came to look around, see what’s open and get out of the house.

Jennifer Lau took her granddaughter Meagan Hashimoto out to mostly to window shop.

“Do something to get out of the house basically,” said Lau.

“It’s quiet. Not a whole lot of stores are open yet. I wanted the bigger stores open,” she added.

Her granddaughter didn’t seem impressed.

“It’s kinda dead. Nothing here. Pretty boring,” said Hashimoto.

“A lot better than being home,” she added.

From the Shoe Palace to Anthropologie to the line at Louis Vuitton, shoppers waited for their turn to get into stores as retailers enforced capacity limits.

Shoppers on the escalator stood 6 feet apart, there was constant cleaning, the food courts are open for take-out only, barricades blocked large seating areas and masks are mandatory.

“Handshaking and unnecessary physical engagement is also prohibited by the mandate. If you do not comply, you will be quietly asked to leave,” said one of the signs."

“It was nice. It was quite a few people out. It’s wasn’t packed. Just local folks looking for bargains,” said shopper Ted Roberts.

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