Some Fresno businesses open doors Tuesday for first time in months due to pandemic

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- "They've been lined up since like 9:30."

When the clock struck 11 a.m., doors opened at Fashion Fair Mall and unlocked and shoppers stepped inside for the first time in months.

But it didn't take long to notice that it was not business as usual.

"We have about 50 to 55 stores open at 11 a.m., which are our new operating hours," says Brian Malony, Senior Marketing Manager.

This group learned that the hard way. They tried going into the Apple Store only to find out they were closed to the public.

"You brought us all the way down here for nothing," people in the crowd said.

Others like Jean Webster and her granddaughter, Bryn, were just happy to get out of the house.

"Just having my life back, just being outside," Webster said.

Manchester Center saw a much smaller crowd when they opened this morning.

Shoe store Le Belle Rose welcomed customers back to both of their mall locations. They have implemented new measures to keep staff and customers safe.

"We have hand sanitizer all over the store for customers," says employee Destiny Contreras. "We also have masks if you can't afford to buy your own."

Malony says the mall as a whole has ramped up their cleaning efforts, especially of entrances and exits.

As for individual retailers, Malony says it is up to them to understand and enforce the safety guidelines.

"I know that all of the retailers are continuing to find ways to fine-tune and perfect their new normal standards," he said.

Small businesses that need help with protective gear can reach out to the city.

On Tuesday, the mayor announced a new campaign to help small business owners access face masks.

"We managed to procure 10,000 surgical masks for business to hand out to customers," says Mark Standriff, Director of Communications for the City of Fresno.

Meanwhile, Webster recommends shoppers do their part and follow the rules.

"Wear a mask," she said. "If it says wear a mask, wear it, and I think it is a good thing for the next month or so."
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