HOUSTON - After over a month of being closed many retail shops are gearing up to open on Friday after Governor Greg Abbott announced plans to re-open the state for “retail-to-go”.
Needless to say, these shop owners want to start selling again and bring their employees back, but they are also anxious as to how this new way of operating their stores will work out.
The Coronavirus pandemic caused these stores to close, but on Friday they will re-open for delivery or curbside service. FOX 26 spoke with some local shop owners about their concerns.
Travis Weave, owner of Manready Merchantile says “They need to work, they have to work. You know, they got to be able to continue on with their lives, you know our job is to make sure they are able to come back to provide for their families by doing it in a safe manner.“
Kristal Kirksey is the owner of Jubilee, and says “Hopefully, you know, customers will know what they want because there is that problem that they can’t, of course, they can window shop and we can carry things out that way.”
Store owners we spoke with are having to work around the limitations. “We have quickly had to beef up our web presence. We’re having to learn to Facebook live, we’re having to learn a lot of new skills. So there is a big learning curve, which is time-consuming.” Says Kirksey. Weaver is also using technology.
“People can FaceTime the shop phone, because it’s an iPhone, and they can, you know will walk around and custom caters to their needs. So it’s the next best thing besides being in the shop.”
The goal, of course, is to kick start the economy. Small businesses usually suffer the most during times of need. Earlier this month Harris County started taking applications for $10 million in forgivable loans for small business but became so overwhelmed they paused applications indefinitely. Owners wanting to stay in business hoping that this retail-to-go plan will be their godsend.
“And I hope also that everyone will remember to shop locally, and less on Amazon. To give other websites a chance.” Says Kirksey.
The best thing to do before heading to any retail store is to check their website or social media page for how they will operate, and how they will accept payment to make sure that things run smoothly.