Valley Plaza closed during COVID-19 pandemic

Dunia Cantu, Reporter

On March 23, Valley Plaza closed its doors to the public in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The closure will affect the 142 shops inside the mall and their respective employees. 

The Valley Plaza website states that they are temporarily closed, but that stores and restaurants with exterior-facing entrances may be open, though hours may vary. 

But most of the stores that have exterior entrances like JCPenney and Macy’s or restaurants such as Just Wing It and Lucille’s Smokehouse Bbq are temporarily closed. 

Target is the only store with an exterior-facing entrance that is open, and the only open restaurant is Red Robin.

Target’s hours remain the same, except on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. On those days, the first hour of shopping is reserved for their most vulnerable guests. 

Shoppers are limited to the confines of the store, however, because the exit that goes into the Valley Plaza from the inside of Target is closed off. 

Valley Plaza’s closure will severely affect the businesses inside, especially small businesses. 

Christina Perez, who works at Kore, said that before the mall came to a close, there had been a decline in customers since the beginning of March. She believes it will affect stores. 

“[I] 100% believe that it is going to affect the stores in a way because everybody who is looking to buy stuff is going to [shop] online. If they see that online is better than [coming] in person, it’s going to [affect] the stores and the people that work in the stores. We already saw stores closing and moving to online, so people like me that work in retail might start losing their jobs,” Perez said. 

Since Perez works for a small company shoe store, she and her coworkers will not be paid. But big companies like Vans will still pay their employees. 

On the Vans website, they stated, “After carefully considering the advice from the World Health Organization (who) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) we have decided to close our Vans store. From now through April 5th Vans stores in the U.S. and Canada will be closed to prioritize the safety and health of you and all of our store associates. Associates employed at our stores will continue to receive full pay and benefits during the closures.” 

As of now, it is unclear when the Valley Plaza mall will open up again.