By Steve Large

ARDEN (CBS13) — The single-largest retail center in Sacramento is preparing to open back up for business in a whole new way.

The Arden Fair Mall is planning on opening its retail stores to curbside pick up only on Friday. It will bring some life back to the typically bustling mall that closed in mid-March due to the coronavirus crisis.

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Nathan Spradlin is the Arden Fair Mall Marketing Manager.

“This is a unique situation for us, one that we’ve never dealt with before,” Spradlin said. “I think drive-thru retail is a great way of putting it.”

The mall is planning a new ‘park and shop’ experience as it follows the governor’s lead on reopening retail.

Shoppers won’t be allowed inside. Instead, they’ll buy online or by phone and a store employee will deliver the purchases to customers pulling up in their cars.

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There are 165 businesses in the mall. Sparslin did not say how many shops will be open on Friday but expected within weeks they all will be open for curbside service.

“I think as this model progresses, you may see some retailers that have more of an in parking lot presence as well,” Spradlin said.

Micah Robertson lives in Sacramento. He’s interested to see how people respond to this new retail therapy opportunity.

“Being able to just come to the curb, grab your stuff go, move on to the next task, that’s gonna speed some people up,” Robertson said. “So yeah there’s gonna be uncertainty. I’m hoping people will keep those social things that we’ve learned in mind.”

The Arden Fair Mall is one of Sacramento’s largest sources of sales tax revenue and accounted for nearly $5 million in sales tax revenue last year.

“We really have no idea of how the public is going to react to this opportunity,” Spradlin said.

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It’s a symbol of Sacramento’s “Main Street.” Arden Fair Mall will now also serve as an example of the city’s slow post-coronavirus recovery.