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‘Better for our economy’: South Coast Plaza stores offering curbside pickup

Ray Williams, 42 of Lakewood, shows the face products he ordered for himself from Nordstrom, as South Coast Plaza starts SCP 2 GO, a contact-free curbside pickup program, in Costa Mesa on Friday.
Ray Williams, 42 of Lakewood, shows the face products he ordered for himself from Nordstrom, as South Coast Plaza starts SCP 2 GO, a contact-free curbside pickup program, in Costa Mesa on Friday.
(Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

South Coast Plaza, Orange County’s flagship shopping mall located in Costa Mesa, has debuted a new plan that allows its stores to conduct in-person business once again.

The program, called SCP 2 GO, began on Friday, rolling out a contact-free curbside pickup shopping system for customers.

More than 80 stores and restaurants are participating in the service, geared towards providing a convenient, health-conscious experience for shoppers.

The effort allows businesses to operate as the state modifies stay-at-home orders put in place to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Essential businesses continued to operate during the stay-at-home order, but Gov. Gavin Newsom recently loosened restrictions that now allow some retail businesses to open with adjustments.

South Coast Plaza closed to the public on March 16 after an employee tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

Nordstrom service experience assistant manager Ashley Corp delivers items to the trunk of a customer at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa on Friday.
Nordstrom service experience assistant manager Ashley Corp delivers items to the trunk of a customer at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa on Friday.
(Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

To participate in the curbside pickup program, customers are asked to call to place an order. The store or restaurant will inform the customer when the order is ready, assigning them a color-coded pickup location.

There are five pickup locations spread throughout South Coast Plaza. Once at their assigned spot, customers can call the store or restaurant, open the trunk of their car and wait for delivery.

The full list of participating shops is updated and available at southcoastplaza.com/scp2go/curbside.

“Our brands are enthusiastic about personally connecting with their customers once more with a program that is safe, contact-less and highly convenient,” South Coast Plaza spokeswoman Debra Gunn Downing said. “If there’s anything that our curbside program underscores during this time of isolation for many, it is the importance of the human connection, even when all you want to do is simply buy a bag, makeup or jewelry.”

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Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley said she went to South Coast Plaza on Friday morning to see the new plan in action, and she believes the curbside pickup service will be well received.

“I came down here to check it out, and they’ve got it very well organized, and it’s curbside pickup,” Foley said. “It’s a terrific expansion of what the Plaza has been doing all along with the takeout for the restaurants.

“That worked out pretty well in terms of keeping safety protocols in place and allowing those businesses to continue to operate through takeout, and now the retail store neighbors can do so in a carefully planned way and make it safe for the customer experience.”

A Nordstrom customer closes her trunk after receiving the skirt she bought through her phone app at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa on Friday.
A Nordstrom customer closes her trunk after receiving the skirt she bought through her phone app at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa on Friday.
(Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

Asked if she had concerns about a change in consumer behavior, with many leaning towards online shopping because of the pandemic, Foley stressed the importance of shopping local to aid the Costa Mesa and Orange County economy.

“The Plaza is a unique shopping experience, and it is not like any other shopping mall,” Foley said. “The stores in the Plaza are unique brands and high-end brands, where many of the products in the stores, you cannot buy online.

“In addition, what we’re trying to do as a city is educate the community that if you shop local and you go pick it up curbside, that’s better for our economy here locally because if you shop online … we don’t get those sales tax dollars invested back into our community.”

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