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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As part of Gov. Tim Walz’s effort to turn the dial on the economy, retail shops were given the greenlight to open Monday.

Some spots, like Mall of America, have chosen to wait until June 1 to open.

Other shopping centers jumped at the chance to open — and shoppers jumped at the chance to shop.

READ MORE: Mall Of America Seeking Help From State Due To COVID-19 Financial Hit

Rosedale Center in Roseville opened on Monday morning, with many customers inside wearing masks. Larome Clark was one of the first to enter the building.

“It feel like we aliens, you know. This pandemic is really crazy right now,” Clark said. “When I came, everybody was just standing here, just running around, looking around, waiting, waiting, waiting.”

Hundreds showed up early, including Bria Hammond, who says she’s waited long enough.

“First of all, I want to go shopping [laughs]! And then just social interaction, you know what I mean?” Hammond said. “Like, it’s been hard sitting in the house for weeks.”

For some of those showing up for the big reopening, they were surprised to learn some stores are still closed, like Foot Locker opens on May 20.

READ MORE: Albany Bar Owner Backs Down On Reopening In Defiance Of Governor’s Order

Clark said he was disappointed that Foot Locker and Champs were closed. Lisa Crain, Rosedale Center’s vice president and general manager, says the decision to reopen, and when, is up to each store.

“We have encouraged all our stores to be open, but they do have to have their protocols in place,” Crain said “I think a lot of stores just want to make sure that they have everything right when they open up those door. So they have the appropriate social distancing, how they’re handling people trying on clothes, things like that.”

One of the stores that was comfortable opening is Paddle North, where WCCO spoke with Will Wiederich.

“Want people to stay safe, but we also want people to … try to be as normal as possible with their lives,” Wiederich said.

He says the Minnesota company has made ends meet with online sales.

“Lake Minnetonka and Prior Lake and stuff, we’re seeing a lot of people just wanting to get out and, you know, social distance best on the water, you know. You can get really far away from people on the water.”

Now, time will tell if other stores can also stay afloat.

Rosedale asks that all shoppers wear masks and use hand sanitizer. They’re also counting at the doors to make sure they are at less than 50% capacity.

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Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

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