Shopping center owners are set to roll-out curbside pickup programs as part of New York’s phased re-opening.
Under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s phased reopening plan, the state could start reopening by region as soon as May 15 with construction, manufacturing and select retail with curbside pick up part of phase 1.
With stringent requirements in place to maintain social distancing, retail giants including Long Island-based Kimco Realty Corp. and shopping center owner Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRT) are already planning curbside pickup programs for tenants of their properties.
FRT is launching The Pick-Up, a curbside centralized service that retailers and restaurants of all sizes can take advantage of. The program is available to all tenants and customers looking for comfortable ways to return to shopping at their favorite stores.
Where permitted by local jurisdiction, The Pick-Up will operate at FRT properties such as the Georgetowne Shopping Center in Brooklyn, where tenants include specialty grocer Fairway Market, Starbucks, Chipotle and burger chain Five Below.
“At sweetgreen, we’re very proud of the customer experience we’ve created through our ordering app. Having the partnership with Federal and its new The Pick-Up program, where our customers can place their order, select a designated pick-up time, and now arrive to a dedicated curbside location for contactless pick-up, without leaving their vehicle, makes the experience even better,” said Nicolas Jammet, co-founder, sweetgreen.
“We’re excited to try The Pick-Up in the coming weeks and commend Federal for its innovative and leading-edge launch, aimed at those of us with small businesses.”
Don Wood, president and CEO at Federal Realty, said, “The Pick-Up takes what is already a growing trend and builds a scalable platform making it easier for merchants and customers to coordinate the quick, contactless exchange of products to help our tenants drive demand given the immediate effects of COVID-19.
“Long term, this national platform delivers a resource for our merchants to evolve with this growing channel within brick and mortar, for which our portfolio is uniquely positioned to take full advantage of based on the proximity to high-density population and job centers.”
Meanwhile Kimco Realty, one of North America’s largest publicly traded owners and operators of open-air, grocery-anchored shopping centers, is rolling out a Curbside Pickup program at its Texas shopping centers, with plans for a nationwide expansion in the coming days.
The company is designating curbside pickup parking spots at its centers for use by all tenants and their customers. The program is designed to help businesses adapt to the new shopping habits that have emerged as a result of the pandemic, and to allow customers to ease back into a daily shopping routine while feeling safe and comfortable.
The program was initially rolled out to Grand Parkway Marketplace in Spring, Texas with 60 parking spots designated.
“Since the start of the pandemic, the Kimco team has had a singular focus – finding ways to support our valued stakeholders during these unprecedented times,” said Conor Flynn, Kimco’s Chief Executive Officer. “While curbside pickup was already gaining traction before the pandemic, some of our national retailers are now reporting a 200 percent increase in curbside pickup orders.
“By formalizing the process and expanding it beyond national retailers to our local mom and pops, we hope to help tenants quickly ramp back up sales as the economy begins to open again. Our Curbside Pickup program takes the best practices we have learned from our large national players and shares them with our small business owners, while also adding a level of convenience and comfort for customers who are still eager to support their favorite local establishments.”
Throughout the crisis, Kimco has been providing its tenants health, safety and financial assistance information. Hundreds of tenants have taken advantage of the company’s Tenant Assistance Program (TAP) offering free legal guidance in applying for government-sponsored small business relief funds.
“We are fully committed to the long-term success of our tenants, and we understand that immediate access to capital may be critical in keeping their businesses afloat over the coming months,” said Flynn.
Gov. Cuomo has stated that before any region can begin to reopen it must meet various requirements, including two weeks of declining hospitalizations and deaths, increased testing and contact tracing programs to identify and isolate those who contract COVID-19.