Effective Monday, Westfield Valley Fair is resuming indoor operations with a new spate of businesses in tow.
According to a Westfield spokeswoman, 25 new retailers and restaurants have joined the line-up, “many of them first-to-market in Silicon Valley,” she said. The debuts are part of the mall operator’s ongoing $1.1 billion transformation. The project began before the coronavirus pandemic stifled Silicon Valley’s indoor mall business.
Like other malls, Westfield’s Santa Clara, Calif., outpost reopened and then closed again, following resurgent infection rates in the state this summer. The company has been trying to make do with alternative approaches, including new programs like its Open Air Market and The Cabanas, an outdoor luxury shopping experience available by appointment only.
Now, thanks to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s revamped reopening plan, the business is throwing its doors open once more, albeit in a limited capacity.
The new tiered system bases business reopenings on daily coronavirus case numbers and positivity rates, per a color-coded framework. Purple, red, orange and yellow denote how widespread cases are, from worst to best, and counties that rise through the levels will see restrictions loosen.
The approach allows for a gradual loosening of restrictions, as counties meet each tier’s requirements for up to three weeks. According to Newsom, it’s a cautious strategy that ensures “we really hold strongly to these buffers in terms of criteria and data, and holding that criteria and data in line for an extended period of time.”
To guard against another rebound into reclosures, “we’re going to be more stubborn this time and have a mandatory wait time between moves,” he added. “We didn’t do that last time.”
As with most of California, much of the Bay Area remains in purple status, including Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano and Sonoma counties. San Francisco and Napa counties are in red status.
The guidelines allow enough room for Santa Clara to open hair salons, barbershops and indoor malls on a limited basis, with 25 percent capacity. While it’s not a full reopening, it’s better than nothing. Fellow purple county Los Angeles is still locked down, pending review by local officials on the state’s new guidance.
Westfield appears to be exhaling. And it’s taking this opportunity to reveal new retail additions, including Jimmy Choo and Bulgari, with Gucci and Rolex to come. Meanwhile, existing residents Tiffany & Co., Versace, and Montblanc plan to reveal reimagined new stores, adding to a luxury range that includes Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Giorgio Armani, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Saint Laurent and others.
The mall also welcomes new retailers Sandro, Maje, Zadig & Voltaire, FM 2050, Anne Fontaine and Golden Goose, and direct-to-consumer brands We The People and Felix Gray, in their brick-and-mortar debuts. They join Brik + Clik, Goodies, Peloton and beauty salon Bollywood, with Aesop following shortly after the reopening.