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How shopping centers will reopen in Phase 2

Limited capacity, reinforced cleaning and disinfection, and intelligent technology put to use


19 May 2020 06:22 PM


ACN | Barcelona

Shopping centers across the country are preparing for the return of customers once Phase 2 of the coronavirus lockdown de-escalation process is reached.

Barcelona’s Diagonal Mar is one of the biggest malls in the Catalan capital, with over 200 shops spread across thousands of square meters of space. 

The shopping center counts 5,000 parking spaces, and a much higher total capacity. This car parking space will be put to good use when the city continues its progression out of lockdown, as shoppers will be able to avail of a ‘click and collect’ service, picking up their purchases in the car park area. 

"Right now, the experience of the mall begins at home," Diagonal Mar's director of marketing, Oscar Bermúdez, tells the Catalan News Agency. Shoppers can consult the website or application to see what times of the day have fewer people visiting, as well as organize their route in advance through a QR code. 

There are plenty of further enhanced safety measures being implemented as the center prepares to welcome visitors again in Phase 2. 

For starters, the number of people in the facility will need to be controlled, minimizing the risk of infection. Capacity will be limited to 40% of the normal total in Phase 2. 

The establishment plans to increase the use of technology and hygienic measures, and at the same time "guarantee the shopping experience" to the customer. 

Shopping malls reopening will also strengthen hygiene and disinfection measures. In restaurants, menus will be replaced by QR codes for the customer to scan, while manual hand dryers will be replaced by disposable towels in bathrooms.

Diagonal Mar will strengthen disinfection and cleaning protocols, with special emphasis on keypads and handrails. The bathrooms will have a limited capacity, guaranteed through controls on access.

In clothes stores, special baskets will be put in place for clothes that have been tried on but not purchased, so they may be disinfected before placed out for sale once more. 

Currently, Diagonal Mar has some stores open, although most of the activity is concentrated in the hypermarket.


  • A staff member disinfects a shirt on display in a clothes shop in Diagonal Mar shopping center (by Marta Casado Pla)

  • A staff member disinfects a shirt on display in a clothes shop in Diagonal Mar shopping center (by Marta Casado Pla)