South Florida’s Sawgrass Mills: Open Amid Pandemic

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So what is it like shopping in South FL outlets during pandemic?

Like everyone else… Sawgrass Mills is open and accepting customers, but I wanted to see the experience for myself especially in the Colonnade area of the outlets where the designer section is located.

If you are not from South Florida,
Sawgrass Mills, is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the area as well as one of the biggest outlet malls in the United States. At Sawgrass Mills they carry Versace Outlet, Michael Kors to Gucci and for the most part the luxury experience is usually very evident in these establishment at all times. With the pandemic I wanted to see how different it is and how they are really functioning with customers. 

Being that this is South Florida and June…it is HOT! HOT as ever! So, having to walk store to store outside with a mask on is not comfortable, but it is the smartest and safest thing to do right now. Sawgrass requires all stores to enforce wearing masks inside their establishment.

As I was strolling by each store, everyone I passed gave you the option to enter but some locked their doors and you had to knock to be let in. It was a way to control capacity in each store. I also saw that some doors had the option of curbside pick-up which I find to be interesting as well. Burberry, John Varvatos were all welcoming customers but the one store that stood out to me was Kate Spade. I like Kate Spade especially their handbags and phone cases. They are usually one of the first to get the newest iPhone case covers.

As I walked by, I wanted to check out Kate Spade but the door was locked. An associate came to the door and spoke to me through the door and asked me, “What do you need help with?”

I was confused at first as to why she didn’t open the door, but I saw then that there was a sign that spoke of curbside pick-up ONLY. Basically, Kate Spade is only offering curb side pickup vs entering the store at all at during this time. What I found weird was if I didn’t do curbside, the associate was yelling through the door asking what items I was looking for and would then bring me a sample to look at through the door. I couldn’t touch anything mind you. It was hard to hear her and to even pick what I wanted. Needless to say, if I want to get something from Kate Spade I am going online.

I understand being safe but having to scream through the closed door to try and purchase something is tough to do, and the luxury feel goes out the window. 

The interesting observation I saw while shopping at Sawgrass was that the other doors did not do this. The ones that were open were allowing customers to come in and shop with social distancing and mask procedures. It was complete opposite shopping experience in Tory Burch though. Tory Burch at Sawgrass came off like a free for all. The door was open, and customers were going in and out and ignoring the arrows of where to walk and 6 ft apart guidelines completely.

Associates were selling and people were brushing up against each other constantly. I didn’t stay in this store for long. Hey it is up to the store and customers in there to choose to shop in that manner. No criticism there. 

The best experience I had that day shopping was in St. Laurent or aka YSL. YSL let customers in and were so inviting. I actually had an amazing customer service experience with a salesperson named Mel. She was so friendly and showed me the most amazing buys, unfortunately the shoes I wanted were not in my size, but she got a hold of WhatsApp information and vowed to contact me when new merchandise arrives.

I loved that she was still pushing her clientele even during COVID 19. Despite the setbacks in retail it is always great to have a great retail shopping experience. Have you had any Covid-19 shopping experiences to share?

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