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Retail stores experiencing opposite of panic shopping

For several businesses around the Las Vegas Valley, Monday was a slow and eerily quiet day.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on the economy throughout the country, with most shoppers flocking to grocery stores and pharmacies to get necessary items should more drastic social distancing measures be required.

The result is that many other retail stores have closed completely or have shortened their hours to meet the limited demand for their services.

From Summerlin to Henderson, it was obvious the day was like no other.

Downtown Summerlin

The parking lots were mostly empty. The sidewalks were completely empty. Downtown Summerlin was peculiarly quiet on Monday afternoon, save for the soft acoustic rock music playing from the speakers stationed throughout the barren area.

“This is a microcosm I think of what you’re seeing in the region, in the country, everywhere,” said Matthew Turnipseede, who works in the One Summerlin Office Building. “This is a great area. Awesome restaurants. Usually packed.”

The coronavirus pandemic has quieted commerce in Downtown Summerlin, and only a handful of shoppers roamed its streets as a result. Some retailers are changing their hours. Some are closed altogether.

Such is the current reality in the face of COVID-19.

“All we have left really are kids that are displaced by schools here toward the afternoons. We’re not really getting any shoppers,” said Frank Luyando, a manager at Downtown Summerlin’s New Balance store. “Especially here. … We have a selective older clientele. So that right there eliminates a good 30 percent of our people. And after that, it’s all just panic shoppers that aren’t showing up.”

“Nothing mandatory is shutting down right now,” he said, adding that this period has been the most challenging since the store opened five years ago. “But pretty much everything is going to be closing early.

West Henderson

On the walk into Las Vegas South Premium Outlets on Las Vegas Boulevard early Monday afternoon, it didn’t take long to realize the reality of the situation.

Several stores were closed, including staples such as Nike and Timberland, while others had shortened their hours. Sales associates at kiosks were largely inactive or looking at their phones.

The associate at a sporting apparel store said that it was slow but that he was trying his best to stay positive and do his job as normal. Even though the sporting world is largely shut down, he said some people were still coming in to buy items that support their teams.

There was some foot traffic, and the parking lot appeared to be more crowded than the mall itself, with hallways and stores were largely empty. The food court remained open, with a few customers eating lunch.

Up the road at Town Square Las Vegas, at the intersection of Interstate 215 and Las Vegas Boulevard, it was more of the same, outside of the bustling Whole Foods. T.J. Maxx had about 20 customers in the store. Some shoppers were circulating from store to store, but most stores were quiet and some had shut down.

Andrea Mays, the store manager at clothing store Shiekh, said her store had cut hours, but she hoped that was the only step it would need to take.

“We’re an outdoor mall, and there are still people walking around,” said Mays, who also said she hopes people who are shopping at Town Square will go to other stores as well.

“I’m hoping they will,” she said. “And I’m hoping (this situation) won’t last that long.”

Most store associates or managers declined to speak on the record but did offer that despite how slow business has been, none had experienced any staff changes at this point.

Contact Jason Orts at jorts@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2936. Follow @SportsWithOrts on Twitter. Contact Ben Gotz at bgotz@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BenSGotz on Twitter. Contact reporter Sam Gordon at sgordon@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.

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