'Respect each other's space:' Safety precautions in place, shops begin reopening at Corners of Brookfield

BROOKFIELD -- A  handful of people were outside Von Maur in Brookfield when the store opened at 11 a.m. on Friday morning, May 15.

The open doors were a welcome sight for shoppers eager to return to a bit of normalcy. The Corners of Brookfield reopened Friday morning; it is one of the first shopping to do so after the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down the "Safer at Home" order on May 13.

Robert Gould

The CEO of the Corners of Brookfield was happy to have them -- as long as they help themselves and other shoppers stay safe. While excited, he says it is not business as normal.

"I get a sense from our customers they are desperate to get back out and shop," CEO Robert Gould said. "We're not putting them under any pressure to reopen."

Stores, such as Von Maur, can open when they see fit. Others are holding off.

"Some of the tenants have not yet opened because they are not ready to open," said Gould. "They've got their own systems to set up. They've got to bring staff back that have got to be trained."

The Corners of Brookfield

Cleaning crews, meanwhile, are working overtime to sanitize storefronts, elevators and common areas on the hour. Management has also installed hand sanitizer stations and signs reminding shoppers that they play an equal role in keeping the area safe.

"People are here, and we want them to come, but let's all do it in a socially-responsible manner," Gould said. "Let's respect each other's space. That's our message."

Josh Hass

One shopper told FOX6 News that the precautions are reasonable.

"As long as people are smart and businesses are smart with how they approach reopening, I think it's good that we are moving in a forward direction," said shopper Josh Hass. "It's hard being cooped up for a few months...I'm so excited to be able to go to a restaurant again."

Shoppers also said they will practice social distancing while shopping if it means they can leave their homes and be social.

Store employees, mall managers, security and cleaning crews are all wearing masks which is recommended by the CDC. Free masks are available at the management office, but shoppers are not required to wear one.

According to Gould, six restaurants will be open by the weekend, but they may not be open for dine-in service. Because some retailers remain closed, shoppers are encouraged to call ahead.