OC's high-end South Coast Plaza reopens for curbside service

The South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa has reopened for curbside service as the retail industry struggles to survive amid the coronavirus pandemic.
COSTA MESA, Calif. (KABC) -- South Coast Plaza retailers who are struggling to survive the global pandemic have reopened with safety measures in place.

The luxury shopping complex on Friday rolled out contact-free curbside pickup in hopes of luring back customers.

"It is all curbside, no contact, no going in the plaza," said Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley. "You can call in to one of your favorite stores and you can purchase your item over the phone or online and you can come and pick it up right here at the plaza."

More than 70 shops, restaurants and all four department stores are participating in the reopening.

Nordstrom's has been offering curbside pickup for a month.

A line of customers were waiting Friday in color coded parking lots to receive their goods.

Tiffanie Palma of Long Beach was there to make a return.

"It is really convenient," Palma said. "It's good. I actually did curbside pickup a while ago and now that they offer returns it is even better. It is so convenient."

But even as the Costa Mesa Nordstrom's has customers, the retailer announced it will close stores, including one in Riverside.

Overall the retail industry is fighting to survive.

Sales have dropped 16.4% in April from the previous month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's advance monthly sales report.

The industry lost nearly $80 billion.

Clothing stores were hardest hit, with sales down nearly 90% from the same period last year, followed by furniture, electronic and appliance stores, sporting good stores and restaurants and bars.

Costa Mesa's mayor says revenue generated by taxes from the high-end plaza accounts for a third of the city's budget.

"We are going to have to figure out great ways to allow people open up our economy in a safe way," Foley said. "So I am really proud of the plaza and what they have been able to do here."

There is still no timeline on when customers will be allowed back inside the luxury center. The mayor says the city and the plaza are following the state's guidance, which currently allows businesses to do curbside pickup.
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