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TODD: IT HAS BEEN A SLOW START WHICH MANY EXPECTED BECAUSE OF THE HOLIDAY. BUT CONSUMERS ARE BUYING. TODD: ON THE FIRST DAY OF REOPENING, THINGS HAVE BEEN SLOW FOR MANY SMALL BUSINESSES. >> TODAY IS EXPLORATORY. OBVIOUSLY IS MEMORIAL DAY. IT’S KIND OF A STRANGE DAY TO KICK THIS OFF. >> HE SAYS THAT WEB CORY — WEB ORDERS ARE KEEPING HIM BUSY. >> IT’S DEFINITELY A CHALLENGE. TODD: THEY ARE GETTING AN ALTERNATIVE TO BROWSING INSIDE. >> WE PICK A BOOK. WE “DRAW SOMETHING” RELATED TO THE BOOK AND PEOPLE GET TO BUY IT SIGHT UNSEEN. TODD: THERE ARE ESSENTIAL STORES THAT HAVE STAYED OPEN. AND THEY ARE CONFIDENT THAT NEWLY REOPENED RETAILERS WILL SEE THE SAME, BUT SOME INDUSTRY EXPERTS WARNED THE LANDSCAPE HAS CHANGED. >> I THINK FULLY A THIRD OF THE SMALL BUSINESSES THAT REMAIN CLOSED ARE IN REAL JEOPARDY OF FAILURE. TODD: AGAIN, MANY RETAIL STORES ARE OPEN FOR CURBSIDE PICKUP ONLY. PHASE ONE WILL LAST AT LEAST THREE WEEK

Slow start to reopening for retail stores due to curbside pickup restrictions

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WCVB

Updated: 10:44 PM EDT May 25, 2020

Todd Kazakiewich

Reporter

Retail stores were among the limited number of business in Massachusetts that were allowed to reopen on Monday under Gov. Charlie Baker’s phased reopening plan.Things were slow for retailers on the first day, which was expected given that they are limited to curbside pickup service and that it was a federal holiday.”Today is sort of exploratory to see what happens. Obviously, it’s Memorial Day,” said Mitch Rosenfield, owner of The Hempest in Boston. “It’s kind of a strange day to kick this off with.”Rosenfield said he is getting a lot of online orders, but not necessarily purchases for pickup.”It’s definitely challenging and a lot different from being open,” he said.One Boston book store is getting innovative, setting up a booth the welcome back customers and offering an alternative to browsing inside the store, which is not allowed under the state’s guidelines.”We do ‘blind date with a book,'” said Courtney Flynn of Trident Booksellers and Cafe. “We pick a book, we draw something (on paper wrapping) on the cover related to the book and people get to just buy it unseen.”Despite the slow start, there is reason for optimism for retailers who just reopened. Essential businesses that have remained open throughout the coronavirus pandemic are reporting a recent rebound in sales, and they believe other stores will see the same thing.Some industry experts, however, are warning that the business landscape has changed too much during the COVID-19 crisis.”I think a full third of these small businesses that have remained closed are in real jeopardy of failure,” said Jon Hurst, president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts.It is not possible to go inside most retail stores and browse during phase one of Baker’s plan, which will last at least two more weeks.

Retail stores were among the limited number of business in Massachusetts that were allowed to reopen on Monday under Gov. Charlie Baker’s phased reopening plan.

Things were slow for retailers on the first day, which was expected given that they are limited to curbside pickup service and that it was a federal holiday.

“Today is sort of exploratory to see what happens. Obviously, it’s Memorial Day,” said Mitch Rosenfield, owner of The Hempest in Boston. “It’s kind of a strange day to kick this off with.”

Rosenfield said he is getting a lot of online orders, but not necessarily purchases for pickup.

“It’s definitely challenging and a lot different from being open,” he said.

One Boston book store is getting innovative, setting up a booth the welcome back customers and offering an alternative to browsing inside the store, which is not allowed under the state’s guidelines.

“We do ‘blind date with a book,'” said Courtney Flynn of Trident Booksellers and Cafe. “We pick a book, we draw something (on paper wrapping) on the cover related to the book and people get to just buy it unseen.”

Despite the slow start, there is reason for optimism for retailers who just reopened. Essential businesses that have remained open throughout the coronavirus pandemic are reporting a recent rebound in sales, and they believe other stores will see the same thing.

Some industry experts, however, are warning that the business landscape has changed too much during the COVID-19 crisis.

“I think a full third of these small businesses that have remained closed are in real jeopardy of failure,” said Jon Hurst, president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts.

It is not possible to go inside most retail stores and browse during phase one of Baker’s plan, which will last at least two more weeks.

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Ben Waldschmidt

By Ben

Hello Everyone! My name is Ben. I have been in the online marketing business as well as retail management for over 25 years. Married to the most wonderful woman in the world! 2 beautiful kids who bring joy to my life every day!

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