Central Florida malls pivot to motivate shoppers amid COVID-19 pandemic

Study from NFR showed consumers are spending based on the emotions caused by the pandemic

ORLANDO, Fla. – The coronavirus pandemic has caused almost every business and organization to pivot the way they operate, this includes shopping malls.

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Christmas is just weeks away and the retail industry is going full force to keep holiday shoppers motivated.

Officials with the Oviedo Jall in Seminole County are trying to keep business booming with different events.

Recently they organized a Deck the Mall event.

“We brainstormed and came up with “Deck the Mall” as a way to inspire people not only to get out of the house but to have some sort of normalcy,” Kayleigh Mollycheck, marketing, and program director for the mall said. “We had live entertainment from carolers and character performers a little bit of everything to just bring that holiday spirit.”

On weekends crews have been putting together the Oviedo Mall Holiday Market, and just like with mall safety protocols, officials are also requiring guests to wear face-coverings throughout the holiday market, which Oviedo Mall administration said is helping the creative minds within the community.

“That is a way that we have brought in outside crafters and artisans from the community,” Mollycheck said adding the mall has more than 35 mom and pop shops. “When you shop here at Oviedo mall, you’re shopping local and you’re supporting local.”

The Mall at Millenia and Orlando International Premium Outlets have been offering online shopping and curbside pickup for shoppers who prefer to maintain a distance.

“Consumers are pulling back in some areas of their spending. They’re spending less on entertainment, ongoing out, and so they have some of that money that they’re then gonna spend on the holidays,” Katherine Cullen, senior director for industry and consumer insights for the National Retail Federation said. According to NFR, sales are expected to grow this 2020 holiday season.

“Somewhere between 3.6 and 5.2% That would be at least 755 billion dollars in total sales during this time period,” Cullen said. “Based on what we’ve seen so far, or for the first 10 months of the year, we are seeing strong consumer spending, we’re seeing optimism from our retail members, and we’re seeing a lot of interest on the part of holiday shoppers.”

A study from NFR showed consumers are spending based on the emotions caused by the pandemic.

“Something we’ve observed throughout the pandemic is people care about celebrations, especially because of what’s going on,” Cullen said. “People have been spending on decorations, dressing up their homes to make it feel more festive, getting into baking, and sending gifts because they might not be able to travel this year. “We know the holidays, regardless of what’s going on in people’s lives, has an emotional meaning that is carried out in how they’re spending.”

About the Author:

Carolina Cardona highlights all Central Florida has to offer in her stories on News 6 at Nine. She joined News 6 in June 2018 from the Telemundo station in Philadelphia.