Brazilian malls begin reopening

Brazilian malls begin reopening
Inspectors at Salvador mall. Photo: Jefferson Peitoxo/Secom

A couple of months ago, all of Brazil’s 577 shopping malls were closed. Now, 211 establishments have reopened their doors, despite the growing number of Covid-19 cases nationwide. According to the World Health Organization, Brazil is “far from reaching the peak of its infection curve,” and data from the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation shows that the country is entering its annual respiratory virus season.

São Paulo state began its gradual reopening on June 1, and 32 malls have resumed activities to some extent. The Brazilian Report has shown that the infection rate in the state is still rising and that past experiences of rushed reopenings, as was the case in Santa Catarina state, have resulted in a worsening of the problem.

As we reported in May 2019, the current business model of Brazilian malls is already under threat from a growing e-commerce industry, and some administrators are moving to launch their own online platforms, integrating store stocks to deliver goods to nearby customers. There is some expectation that the Covid-19 pandemic will fast-track this process.

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