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Charlotte-area malls, retail stores reopen under Phase 1

Under Phase 1, retail stores are allowing only 50% capacity. SouthPark Mall in Charlotte had about 30 shops open Saturday.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As North Carolina starts to loosen restrictions, retail stores are beginning to re-open. 

SouthPark Mall, Charlotte Premium Outlets, and Concord Mills opening their doors. Local retail stores, like Fairclough and Co. are also getting back to business. 

"We've really taken a hit as far as sales, so we're thrilled to get back to it," Fairclough and Co. Paul Haddock said. 

Shoppers have mixed reactions. Some say it's all happening too soon, but others seem excited for some normalcy. 

SouthPark Mall had a plan to get shoppers in the door safely to mark the start of the new normal.

"That's our number one priority," General Manager for SouthPark Mall, Randy Thomas said.

There are new social distancing guidelines, limited store hours, and decreased occupancy all in place. Additionally, customers are being encouraged to wear masks, make use of free temperature testing, and use hand sanitizer stations that are available. 

"People are ready to come back in, even if it's for just one purchase we wanted to make that option available," Thomas said. 

It was a similar story at Charlotte's, a local women's boutique.

"We are cleaning, cleaning, cleaning," said Charlotte's manager, Megan Polinski. 

She's been eager for Saturday's re-open but understands that shoppers may feel uneasy.

"If they don't feel comfortable coming in yet we can still do curbside pickup, ship, whatever they need," Polinski said. 

But as we slowly get back to a new normal, Thomas had some advice for shoppers and retailers alike.

"We're all in this together, we want to make sure they asses their own health prior to coming to the mall," Thomas said. 

Under Phase 1, retail stores are allowing only 50% capacity. 

RELATED: What's open again under Phase 1 in North Carolina?

SouthPark Mall had about 30 shops open Saturday, Thomas said that number is constantly changing. Food courts will remain closed.

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