Poor timing for mall revamp

Small businesses are already struggling with Covid-19 restrictions and now a revamp at a local shopping centre threatens to put them out of business.

With many businesses struggling to hold on for dear life as they battle to navigate the financial crisis brought on by one of the worst pandemics in human history, it’s puzzling that Pick n Pay has chosen this moment to close its Table View Shopping Centre for a nine-month revamp.

While the revamp holds the promise of a better shopping experience for customers, it seems it comes at the cost of leaving small businesses at the centre in the lurch.

Pick n Pay is not a charity, and shopping centres have to be freshened up occasionally to draw the foot traffic so vital to their sustainability. But it’s the timing of this decision that makes it questionable. Is the revamp so urgently needed that it must happen now while so many livelihoods are threatened? Waiting a year, or even just six months, would mean giving the small guys a better chance of landing on their feet.

And at a time when many are discovering the benefits of ordering their groceries online to avoid the risk of picking up Covid in a crowded shop, just how confident is Pick n Pay that its Table View Shopping Centre customers will be waiting at the door when the mall is ready to reopen in November? Nine months is plenty of time for customers to find a more convenient solution to their shopping needs.