CALGARY -- Merchants at Calgary’s Glenmore Landing are hoping a weekend event will bring back customers they say abandoned the strip mall as a result of traffic chaos caused by an extended period of construction.

Some shopkeepers say they’ve seen a nearly 50 per cent decline in customers, as people avoided the mall while BRT construction was underway.

"Some of them said, 'I'm sorry, but I just I'm just going somewhere else until the roads are done. It's just, I'm not coming back,'" says Betty Jacobs, owner of Ducks Fashion. “It was bad.”

Cindy Tunzelmann and Karen Marks were out shopping at Glenmore Landing Tuesday, but say during the BRT construction they avoided it.

"It was just a little trying. The traffic was crazy,” says Tunzelmann.

Marks says even though she enjoys shopping at the mall, it was difficult while the work was ongoing.

“It’s quite true, I went other places because of the traffic."

However, many customers have not returned despite the BRT line being complete and operational, businesses say.

Jacobs fears many of them have simply developed new shopping habits.

“It's taken so long that people have moved on and are taking a different route home or whatever."

To help out, Jacobs worked with other concerned business owners to organize a weekend event that aims to draw many of those customers back to the stores along 14 Street S.W.

Beginning Friday afternoon and running through Sunday, stores and restaurants in the mall will be offering incentives including deep discount sales to customers.

“I went around to organize this event that we're having on the weekend. And there were people trying to, you know, fight tears. It's been a rough, rough time for the retailers in this mall,” says Jacobs.

“We’re hoping it’ll be a reminder that we're still here, and we need you to come back to us.”