The biggest mall operator in the US is closing all locations for 12 days to slow the spread of COVID-19

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The biggest mall operator in the US is closing all locations for 12 days to slow the spread of COVID-19

simon property group simon malls

Shoppers ascend and descend escalators at the King of Prussia Mall, owned by Simon Property Group, United State's largest retail shopping space, in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, U.S., December 8, 2018.

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  • The largest mall operator in the US, Simon Property Group, announced it would close all domestic properties for the next 12 days as the US and 155 other countries and territories continue to battle COVID-19.
  • After speaking with government officials, Simon Property Group determined the shutdown would be the best way to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease.
  • The shutdown will be yet another blow to US malls and retailers which have struggled in the last several years as e-commerce continues to grow.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Simon Property Group, the largest mall operator in the US, announced Wednesday that all of its US properties will temporarily shut down in an effort to slow the transmission of COVID-19, according to a company press release.

The mall operator met with local, state, and federal officials and decided the best course of action for public health is to close malls, outlets, and mills for at least 12 days in order to promote social distancing.

"The health and safety of our shoppers, retailers and employees is of paramount importance and we are taking this step to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities," David Simon, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Simon Property Group said in the release.

Simon Property Group's decision falls in line with individual retailers who have decided to shut their doors recently, such as Urban Outfitters and Nike. Many companies have committed to paying employees for missed hours during the closure period.

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But the shutdown may prove to be yet another blow to the property group as well as brick-and-mortar retail stores, which continue to face challenges amid the rise of online shopping and e-commerce giants like Amazon.

Simon Property Group retail locations will close Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. local and re-open March 29.

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