Boxing Day 2020: busier than some Winnipeggers expected

It was not the usual hustle and bustle of Boxing Day shopping at Winnipeg’s CF Polo Park Mall this year.

With level red restrictions still in place, many stores weren’t open at all.

Read more: What’s open in Winnipeg over the holidays?

“Last year we were over 100,000 people, this year we’re expecting probably around ten maybe 12,000,” Peter Havens, general manager of CF Polo Park, said. “Obviously it’s a shorter day and we only have 48 stores open and operating as under essential services.”

Many shops were offering curbside pick up options while others were open and allowing customers inside because they sell items the province deems essential such as makeup, soap and cellphones.

Line up for Bath & Body Works snaking around railings at CF Polo Park Mall
Line up for Bath & Body Works snaking around railings at CF Polo Park Mall. Global News

Bath & Body Works, Sephora and telecommunication stores like Rogers and Bell were all sporting physically distant lines, with some customers waiting upwards of 25 mins to get inside.

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Few shoppers were surprised by how many people were at the mall this year, amidst level red restrictions.

“There’s less people than the other years, but there’s still a whole lot of people,” one shopper said.

“It’s a lot of more restrictions, lot more social distancing going on, and seems like there’s a lot more people than I figured would be out today,” another customer said passing by a lineup.

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Mall officials say more security was added this year to ensure public health orders were maintained.

“We do have some paid duty police officers here just to make sure things are safe,” Havens said. “Then from a hygiene perspective, we still maintain our full high touch point cleaning program.”

At big box stores like Best Buy and Walmart, customers were waiting in their cars to pick up non-essential items ordered online.

Best Buy curbside pickup order being loaded into a customers trunk in Winnipeg, MB.
Best Buy curbside pickup order being loaded into a customers trunk in Winnipeg, MB. Michael Drave / Global News

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