Shopping malls experience problems organising workers for weekend shifts

Following the 21 December decision of the Latvian government, which permits all stores in shopping malls to open up for weekends and holidays, businesses across Latvia have started making plans to reopen for the Christmas holiday. However, problems with organisation of workers for those shifts started surfacing almost immediately, according to interviewed representatives of shopping malls.
Representatives of Alfa and Akropole shopping malls, which have the same owner, say the shopping malls were happy to hear government permitting them to stay open and service customers in green regime on weekends and holidays. Tenants of both Alfa and Akropole plan to open up for customers as early as this week.
At the same time, representatives of Akropole and Alfa admit one of the biggest challenges now is organising workers for weekend and holiday shifts.
Both shopping malls will be open for customers 10:00-18:00 on 24 December, 12:00-21:00 on 25 December, 10:00-22:00 on 26 December and 10:00-20:00 on 31 December.
On 1 January both shopping malls will be closed for customers.
Rimi hypermarket located in Alfa will be open 08:00-21:00 on 24 and 31 December. On 25 and 26 December it will be open 10:00-22:00. On 1 January Rimi hypermarket will be open 11:00-22:00.
Maxima XXX located in Akropole will be open 08:00-21:00 on 24 and 31 December, 10:00-22:00 on 25 December, 08:00-23:00 on 26 December. On 1 January Maxima XXX will be open 10:00-22:00.
Origo shopping mall and real estate real estate developer Linstow Baltic commercial director Evija Majevska stresses Origo will act in accordance with the government’s decision and will be open on weekends.
At the same time she admits the sudden change presents a major challenge for tenants, since they have to add corrections to their workers’ shifts at the last moment.
«At the same time, we will do all we can to make sure shopping is a pleasant and safe experience for Origo customers this holiday,» says Majevska.
Origo promises to announce more information about the shopping mall’s open hours, considering the changes added to the rules.
Galleria Riga manager Zane Šulca says in the last two years the shopping mall has learned to adapt to the government’s last-minute decisions.
«Galleria Riga will be open on all holidays and weekends except 1 January, when only the food products store and some restaurants will be open,» reports Šulca.
Domina Shopping director Dina Bunce says the shopping mall’s administration is divided on this. One the one hand store owners feel that their voice have been heard finally, because all shops in Domina Shopping, of which there are 170, will be able to stay open on weekends once again.
«On the other hand, we’ve once again ended up in a situation when the government makes a decision at the last moment. The result of this is an illusion of an opportunity for store owners to open up even though most do not have it – it’s simply not possible to reorganize and hire more people on such a short notice,» says Bunce.
On 21 December Latvia’s government issued amendments to the order Regarding Declaration of the Emergency Situation, allowing shops located in shopping malls to open up for customers on weekends and holidays.
These amendments will come to force Friday, 24 December, which is the first holiday after the government meeting.