Allen Outlet Employees Share Anxiety Ahead of Reopening – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

This week employees are returning to work inside the stores of the Allen Premium Outlets. It’s been almost a month since a deadly mass shooting, and some workers tell NBC 5 they’ve experienced some anxiety about going back.

One retail employee, Niqi Crump, said being on the property isn’t easy.

“I still shake. I still feel that shake that was hanging with me in that office that afternoon,” she said.

The Allen Premium outlets are expected to reopen to the public Wednesday, nearly a month after a gunman opened fire, killing eight people.

On Memorial Day, Crump was back at the store where she works, folding clothes. She said the work brought back memories. For that reason, she told us she’s relieved she won’t be on the clock Wednesday when shoppers return. Instead, she’s scheduled to return Saturday, giving her a few more days to prepare mentally.

“I am not ready,” she said. “Thankfully I’m not scheduled for that day [Wednesday] so I can hear feedback from my coworkers before I get there this weekend.”

She was working the day when shots rang out from the parking lot. NBC 5 crews even caught up with her following the chaos.

Now, weeks later, even clocking in for work brings back memories.

“We have to clock in the back office where we were hiding,” Crump said. “So even in just the few moments back there, I kind of felt my face getting tense.”

According to a message shared on the outlet’s website, retailers will have the flexibility to set their own hours and resume operations at their own pace. The statement goes on to read in part:

“As we prepare to reopen Allen Premium Outlets, we do so with deep gratitude for the compassion and goodwill of so many.”

Crump’s request of the public is kindness and patience.

“Definitely respect the employees, respect the associates,” she said.

She says returning is inventible and though difficult she feels like she’s not in this alone.

The outlet says plans have begun for a permanent memorial to honor the victims and their families. For more information on hours and operations visit the Allen Premium Ooutlets.

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