The coronavirus claimed two large, highly visible Escondido businesses this week.
The iconic Souplantation, a buffet style salad bar where customers helped themselves from mountains of ingredients, has announced that it is closing all of its restaurants, including the one in Escondido, because of its inability to deal with the kinds of requirements that will be put on restaurants once they are allowed to operate again.
Nordstrom, the upper crust style emporium that helped to anchor first the North County Fair and then Westfield North County Mall has announced it is closing 16 of its 116 Nordstroms in nine states, including the Nordstrom that has anchored the mall since it opened in the 1980s. Nordstrom Racks are not being affected by the shutdowns.
According to a spokesman for Nordstrom: “We’ve been investing in our digital and physical capabilities to keep pace with rapidly-changing customer expectations. The impact of COVID-19 is only accelerating the importance of these capabilities in serving customers. More than ever, we need to work with flexibility and speed. Our market strategy helps with both, bringing inventory closer to where customers live and work, allowing us to use our stores as fulfillment centers to get products to customers faster, and connecting digital and physical experiences with services like curbside pickup and returns.”
Mayor Paul McNamara reacted to the closing of the two businesses: “I think I speak for many people when I say these two businesses will be missed. They have been mainstays of the area for many years. We all know that on-line shopping is changing the dynamic of how we buy things. The COVID 19 crisis seems to have accelerated that change. While it is disappointing to lose two great businesses, we should also not miss the opportunity, to consider the reimagining of how the Mall and brick and mortar stores are used now and in the future.”