BURLINGAME (KPIX 5) — Some hopeful business owners in San Mateo County were able to reopen their shops for curbside pick-up Monday as parts of the Bay Area finally moved into Phase 2 reopening amid the coronavirus shelter order.
Retailers may have to get creative to navigate a new reality.
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Bunches of balloons welcomed customers who arrived to get their merchandise at stores in Burlingame.
Sales weren’t exactly booming, but retail store owners said it was a major improvement over having no sales at all during the last two months .
The owners of Nuts for Candy and Toys have been operating their business in downtown Burlingame for 25 years.
Owner John Kevranian said the first day of reopening went about as he expected it would.
“With the curb side pickup, we are slowly taking baby steps to get there,” said Kevranian.
Young customer Kylie and her mom picked up an item that’s a hot seller these days,
“My mom just got a puzzle because we have been bored,” said Kylie.
But not everyone was open for business. The streets were dotted with still-shuttered restaurants that were unable to host dine-in customers..
Some shoppers were expecting more of a street fair atmosphere. That was not the case.
“I went to this street and to Burlingame Avenue and it’s very quiet still,” one shopper told KPIX 5. “I feel very bad for the retail establishments.”
When asked how he would take care of the impulse buyer who just wants to walk into his shop and see what he has, Kevranian said, “We tell them, ‘I’m sorry, you can’t come in. But we will be happy to bag for you whatever you want, whatever you need.'”
As part of the rules of Phase 2 retail store operation, customers must order their products in advance and pay with credit cards.
Kevranian said shops and customers alike will hae to adjust.
“I think we will slowly make changes where more people will go online,” he said. “If they want a certain product they will order it. My opinion people will get used to ordering online.”
It remains to be seen how many retail stores will be able to make up for all the business lost during the past two months of being shut down in order to survive..