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News Article

Back to the Past: Stores Are Reopening

By Daniel González | Wed, 06/03/2020 - 14:15

Despite an increase in the number of COVID-19 deaths and infected patients in Mexico, particularly in Mexico City, the return to a new normality announced by President López Obrador has allowed the opening of shopping centers in the least affected regions of the country. Liverpool and Sears, important department stores in the country, have opened their doors in Tampico, Tamaulipas, while the Dutch chain C&A opened some of its stores in Coahuila, Colima, Nuevo Leon and Guanajuato. Despite this, the company remains firm in its commitment to e-commerce. In mid-April, C&A opened its own store on the Mercado Libre platform to cater to clients who were homebound due to COVID-19, strengthening only a few days later. All this occurred after selling its operating license in Mexico to Grupo Axo at the end of February.

Liverpool, Sears and C&A have followed the guidelines published by the Mexican government, which has prepared an asymmetric de-escalation plan to minimize the COVID-19 impact in various regions of the country. The government’s plan sets out strict safety standards to prevent contagion that all retail businesses must scrupulously comply with. This means all stores will have to place signs on the floor to avoid crowds of customers. They must also place methacrylate at counters to separate sales staff from customers. Other precautionary steps include limiting the number of people in store corridors and disinfecting clothes and common areas, such as dressing rooms, several times a day. In addition, all store personnel should wear masks and gloves to limit contagion.

The Mexican government bases the return to normality on a traffic light that indicates which regions can go back to work in the new normal modality. This depends on the number of infections and the speed of transmission of the virus. The decision, however, is not endorsed by institutions such as the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), which yesterday asked the Mexican government not to rush. “There is no magic formula but if the transmission of the virus grows, economic activity should not be reopened immediately because that could cause transmission to accelerate even more,” said from New York Jaime Barbosa, PAHO’s Deputy Director, on a statement published by Associated Press. “Mexico is a very important country for the control of COVID-19 transmission,” added Barbosa.

Mexico City, the region most affected by COVID-19, plans to reopen its economy on June 15, although the decision will depend on the virus’ speed of transmission, as Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum explained a few days ago.


The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Milenio, El Financiero, Fashion Network, América Retail, Efe, Associated Press, El Universal
Photo by:   Unsplash
Daniel González Daniel González Senior Writer