Retail center owner in D.C. readies re-opening plan

Al Urbanski
Real Estate Editor & Manager
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Peterson's Rio center
Peterson's Rio center in Gaithersburg, Md., was one of CSA's Breakout Centers of 2020.

Though government officials in the Washington D.C., area have yet to set a re-opening date for all retailers, Peterson Companies is ready for the day.

The owner of four of the largest shopping and lifestyle centers in the region has issued a detailed “Welcome Back Plan” and is outfitting its locations to get back into business. On the list:

    Social media advertising to target customers with welcome back information
    Hand sanitizing stations in high-traffic areas such as elevators, restrooms, and gathering spaces
    Face coverings and gloves for Peterson employees and third-party contractors
    A code of conduct to be enforced by security staff
    Dedicated website pages for merchants to issue carry-out and curbside pick-up instructions

Peterson will increase social media, online, and roadway advertising to draw shoppers to its properties and, on June 1, it will launch an eight-week series of offers from merchants. Gift cards and gifts with purchase will be presented as a thanks to returning shoppers. 

“The health and safety of our guests continues to be our primary concern and we’ll continue to follow CDC guidelines and recommendations from local and state officials. When our merchants and guests are ready to return, our centers will be ready for them,” said Peterson’s president of retail Paul Weinschenk.

Peterson’s properties include National Harbor, Downtown Silver Spring, Rio in Gaithersburg, and Fairfax Corner and Fair Lakes in Fairfax.