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New York (CNN Business)The biggest mall owner in America says it's time to go shopping again.

Simon Property Group, which has 204 properties in 37 states, said late Monday that 199 of its shopping centers have reopened -- even as concerns grow about a second wave of Covid-19 cases in the United States and a deluge of retail bankruptcies.
It expects the remaining five properties to reopen sometime within the next week. These malls collectively have more than 18,000 stores, and according to Simon, many of them have reported better-than-expected sales since reopening.
    Shares of Simon (SPG) were flat in early trading Tuesday on the news. That followed a more than 10% spike Monday as the broader market rallied. Simon also said Monday that nearly all the stores in its international outlets (mostly in Europe and Asia) are open. The company just announced the grand opening of a new outlet mall in Bangkok.Read MoreCurbside pickup is great for everyone, but its a headache for mallsStill, Simon has a big hole to dig itself out of before it gets back to pre-pandemic levels. The stock remains down more than 50% this year, even after the rally of the past few days. Many malls had been struggling even before the economy fell into a recession as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. Consumers have been shunning big malls in favor of superstores like Walmart (WMT) and Target (TGT) as well as Amazon (AMZN) and other online retailers. That's hurting landlords like Simon.Simon is fighting back and trying to capture its own piece of the lucrative digital commerce pie. The company announced a joint venture in October with Rue Gilt Groupe to launch an online site for Simon's outlet shopping centers. But Simon faces several legal challenges as well. The company had agreed to buy rival Taubman Centers (TCO) in February for $3.6 billion. Then the coronavirus outbreak ground the US economy to a screeching halt. Simon terminated the deal earlier this month.The two companies are now suing each other. Taubman said Simon's decision to end the merger is "invalid and without merit" and Taubman shareholders voted to approve the deal last week. These mall staples announced thousands of store closures in JuneSimon is also suing mall stalwart Gap (GPS) for failure to pay $66 million in rent for the more than 400 million locations it leases from Simon. The Old Navy and Banana Republic owner has been hit hard by Covid-19, but shares have rallied in the past few days on optimism about store reopenings and a new deal to sell a line of Kanye West's Yeezy apparel.The bankruptcy of mall anchors such as JCPenney, J.Crew and Neiman Marcus could also hurt Simon and other mall operators as they lose tenants. But Simon is trying to stop the bleeding.
      In February, the company agreed to buy a 37.5% stake in another bankrupt mall retailer, fast-fashion company Forever 21. Marketing company Authentic Brands and fellow mall owner Brookfield Property Partners (BPY) bought the remainder of Forever 21. This consortium agreed to buy bankrupt Aeropostale in 2016, too. Simon, Brookfield and Authentic Brands are also reportedly looking to buy JCPenney.

      News Source: CNN

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      Coronavirus resurgence prompts Hong Kong Disneyland shutdown — again

      Walt Disney is temporarily closing its Hong Kong Disneyland theme park from July 15 amid rising coronavirus cases in the Chinese-ruled city, the company said Monday.

      The announcement came two days after Disney reopened its biggest resort, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., as coronavirus cases surged in the state.

      “As required by the government and health authorities in line with prevention efforts taking place across Hong Kong, Hong Kong Disneyland park will temporarily close from July 15,” a Disney spokeswoman said in a statement.

      see also
      See the surreal scenes from Disney Worlds reopening after lockdown Lines were much shorter.

      The Hong Kong Disneyland Resort hotels will remain open with adjusted services. They have put in place enhanced health and safety measures, the company said.

      Hong Kong recorded 52 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, including 41 that were locally transmitted, according to health authorities. Since late January, Hong Kong has reported 1,522 cases and local media reported an eighth death on Monday.

      Florida has emerged as an epicenter of US COVID-19 infections. In Orange County, where Disney World is located, cases rose by 623 to a total of 18,624, the fifth-highest outbreak in the state.

      Hong Kong is tightening social distancing measures amid growing worries about a third wave of coronavirus infections. The government will limit group gatherings to four people — from 50 — a measure last seen during a second wave of the outbreak in March.

      Hong Kong Disneyland, which is majority-owned by the Hong Kong government, reopened in June. Hong Kong Tokyo reopened in July; Disneyland Shanghai reopened in May.

      Disney’s reopening of its parks in Asia helped provide assurance about moving ahead in Florida, Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney’s parks, experiences and products division told Reuters in an interview on Saturday.

      David Miller, an analyst at investment bank Imperial Capital, estimates that Disney generates 75 percent of operating income in its parks division from Walt Disney World, compared with 10 percent from all of the foreign parks combined.

      Filed under Coronavirus ,  disneydisneylandhong kong ,  7/13/20 Share this article: Share this:
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