Just like the title says, Fashion Island is finally open! And a lot of people are celebrating the return of their favorite shopping destination with beautiful grounds, stores galore, and tranquil koi pond. While the destination is definitely on the way back, things look quite different these days. Gone are careless wondering, browsing, and mingling; gone are fitting rooms and people interaction. Hopefully it won’t be forever, but right now there are rules and limitations is place that visitors better follow or lose the privilege of shopping at their favorite stores.
While some rules are understandable, the abundance of them can seem a bit excessive and redundant. But this is California and they don’t joke around here. Read this before venturing out and decide if all the trouble is worth your time or should you just get what you need online or elsewhere.
Fashion Island has always been loved for its vibe and beauty. While beauty of the grounds remains, the vibe is very different. First, not all the stores are open yet, but some are. Parking is plentiful these days, but you will also experience a feeling of loneliness. Despite this feeling, it’s nice that businesses are allowed to resume their operations and give you a place to do some retail shopping outside your couch.
All stores that are open have signs on the windows that masks are not mandatory, but highly encouraged. Most people are wearing them, but not all. The choice is yours, but you will be in the minority without some type of face cover. All sales associates are in masks and most also wear gloves.
Apple stores are opening in the U.S., 25 per week. The one in Fashion Island has also opened with plenty of rules for customers to follow. First, your temperature will be checked outside the entrance. You will also have to wear a mask. Apple will even give you one if you won’t have your own. And you better not cough inside the store, because that will also be watched. Sales people will focus on one-on-one customer service and limit store occupancy. So forget browsing Apple products inside while waiting together with another 20 people.
Macy’s is also eager to open everywhere, especially given their financial woes. Fashion Island’s Macy’s is also ready for business, however limited it might be. The store offers curbside pickup and is open for in person visits. Store employees will be cleaning all surfaces throughout the day and will wear masks. Customers will have to maintain at least 6 feet distance at all times. Hand sanitizer stations and Plexiglas are installed in the store. Employees will monitor each other and will do wellness checks before going to work.
Customers will find hand sanitizing stations all over the mall in common areas. Some stores choose to require masks, some don’t, but all will require social distancing. Many stores have arrows for customer flow and in order to reduce chances of coming too close to each other. This is nothing new - most grocery stores require that since the beginning of corona.
Elevators in Fashion Island all have signs that no more than two people are allowed inside. There is hope that not too many shoppers will rush in right away or there will be lines.
If you want to get your hair blown out or done at Drybar, be ready for some serious paperwork. Yes, you will have to wear a mask and will have to fill out an elaborate form with 15-20 questions. You will be asked to initial your answers to questions like have you traveled to other states recently and if you feel some unusual symptoms that could be attributed to COVID-19. You will have to give your personal information and consent that you understand your risks. Also be ready to get your temperature taken upon entering the salon.
Local Whole Foods is also exercising plenty of caution. Shopping is as usual, but with masks, sanitizer, six feet distance, and Plexiglas at checkout. However, if you want to have lunch there, it’s a whole different story. You are allowed 30 minutes to eat whatever you bought and will be asked your name, last name, and phone number before getting a table. There is even a separate entrance for that, but you are allowed to eat without a mask!
When you will be ready to check out, you will have to stand on designated standing spots in front of the register 6 feet apart. This applies to every store in the mall and elsewhere.
Overall, it feels good to be out and about, so in the name of retail pleasures, you will be asked to survive some annoying precautions. Because of masks you won’t be able to show your beautiful face just yet, but you will be able to breathe the fresh air outside. And while you won’t need to shop for a lipstick for a while, don’t despair, because think what lipstick makers and sellers are going through.
What you can do and enjoy, however, is making your eyes the prettiest you possibly can because they are a mirror of the soul after all, and now it’s definitely their time to shine. Also don’t forget hair and outfits, for which Fashion Island has a lot to offer!