The Next-Level Pandemic Measures of This Thai Mall Is Making Us Feel Good

Can we have these nice things, please?
IMAGE Instagram/ themall_thailand

In the good old days when titles like Esquire produced photographs, we spent most of our work week in the modern temples of man, the mall. Of course, it was all in the name of official business—the perusing of suits and watches from fine fashion and accessory houses, followed by a peaceful lunch at our favorite bistro, and then some more intense window shopping to make sure we find that perfect blue jacket that we won’t end up using during the shoot.

Back then, we worked at the office (or the mall), we put together stories on paper, and we can, you know, touch other. And then we were thrust into a nightmare universe, where stunning imagery on print and malling are not feasible. Reality has been grim for everyone, but thankfully we’re starting to climb out of the hole as shopping centers have reopened in the country.

Of course, there are now measures to keep people safe, including temperature guns, free-flowing 70-percent alcohol, masking (not the skincare kind), and constant sanitation of everything.

But take a look at this: The Mall Group, one of the largest mall operators in Thailand, appears to have taken anti-pandemic measures to beyond next level. Watching its video, which feels like a triumphant comeback because of the soaring music, is peering into a Future World where everything is clean and perfect, cozy and right.

In the name of malling, we will identify the interesting practices the group is implementing (while we can’t read Thai, we do have advanced degrees in context clues and shopping). Arranged from cool to out-of-this-world, here are eight mall innovations that we wish we had over here:


1| Automatic hand sanitizers that make pump-bottle hand sanitizers look cute

2| Temperature readers that appear to work with a mobile phone

3| Virus vaporizing floor mats

4| A density control system that tracks the number of people in the mall

5| Touchless services (parking) and payment via mobile phone, smartwatch, or smart credit card

6| A store check-in and check-out system via mobile phone (we’re guessing this is for density control and maybe even contact tracing)

7| A cool portable machine that spews out what we think is a sanitizing fog

8| And an awesome UV-C sterilization chamber for your purchases—stick in your bag of goodies in the pink refrigerator to zap away the worry

The Mall Group has also figured out the very tricky stuff like how to implement a salad bar, how to try on clothes (wear a shroud—the clothes are also zapped after trying them on), and how to get your hair done (with masks and face shields). Watch it all here:

We’re not saying our malls are slouches when it comes to protecting their clients, but things can always be better, safer, and cooler. And while we wait for the kinks of new operations to smooth themselves out, we will explore The Mall Group’s graphic “A New Normal Handbook,” which details all the actions it is implementing across different spaces, from its gourmet market to its beauty department.

Can we have all of these?

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Clifford Olanday
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