幸运飞艇app直播视频官The faint heartbeat of Orange County’s retail scene was palpable Friday, May 8, as florists, clothing stores and other “lower-risk” businesses opened their doors for the first time in nearly two months.
幸运飞艇app直播视频官In San Clemente, customers and staff at Hobie Surf Shop spoke of how much they had missed each other.
In Laguna Beach, an elderly couple walking by Violet’s Boutique talked with the store’s owner about how they are getting sick of staying at home.
幸运飞艇app直播视频官In Santa Ana, masked customers spaced themselves apart outside Shoe Palace. One-by-one, patrons walked up to the open door, where a worker helped them pick out new footwear from inside.
Still, as California officially allowed its lower-risk retailers to open for delivery and customers picking up goods curbside, many businesses remained closed. Some are waiting for the state to relax its regulations even further and some are confused about what they .
Several that re-opened reported slow sales, even with more people walking by their stores.
As California is seeing a “flattening of the curve” in the number of those hospitalized by the coronavirus, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s easing of closure orders for non-essential retailers this week marked a first step toward business as usual for the nation’s largest economy.
As of Friday, Newsom said about 70% of the state’s economy is reopening – albeit with modification to account for more social distancing, sanitation and protection for workers.
Eva Waite, owner of the clothing boutique Eva’s Trunk at The OC Mix in Costa Mesa, opened on Friday only to meet with a few of her vital regular customers. She made one curbside sale.
幸运飞艇app直播视频官Waite said she’s barely kept her business afloat since March by rallying for exposure on social media, taking pictures of certain items and advertising mostly to those who already shop at her store. Then, she delivered the pieces herself.
“I’m dying because we haven’t been open for two months,” she said.
幸运飞艇app直播视频官Usually, two good sales per day keep the store going. But lack of foot traffic around Eva’s Trunk stall has shriveled Waite’s income – she said she’s made only $800 during the pandemic, and that revenue will be used to pay for clothes she had already ordered for her stock. Her presence online hasn’t cut it.
Just after noon on Friday, Waite called it a day. She wasn’t expecting any new customers.
幸运飞艇app直播视频官The surrounding South Coast Collection, a center for furniture stores and showrooms, was nearly empty. Some businesses were taking appointments to show off appliances and interior designs, but most remained closed.
幸运飞艇app直播视频官Along San Clemente’s Avenida Del Mar, Hobie Surf Shop was among the busiest stores late Friday morning. The store didn’t let anyone in, blocking the entrance with a table. Workers stood behind the table, getting swimwear, clothing, sunscreen and other items for those who called ahead or ordered online.
幸运飞艇app直播视频官“It’s nice to have a job to come back to,” said Assistant Manager Mason Klink, wearing a mask. “It’s been nice seeing some familiar faces and getting back in touch with the community.”
As Klink worked on fulfilling a customer’s order, pedestrians yelled at him, saying how much they missed him and others at the store.
“We’ll definitely spend money for you!” a woman told Klink. “We have to.”
At Nic’s Vacuums and Small Appliances a block away, Jean-Louis Denayer stood at the door to take a credit card from a customer buying a kitchen mixer. He then walked 30 or so feet to the credit card reader at the back of the store so he can ring up the charge.
幸运飞艇app直播视频官That’s just a small example of the extra work – from sanitizing every product he sells to scheduling a delivery through the phone – Denayer said he has to do. “I have to do a lot more work to get the same amount of money.”
幸运飞艇app直播视频官Orange County’s big-box chains appeared most prepared to launch curbside pick-up on Friday.
Employees at Dick’s Sporting Goods and Kohl’s in Yorba Linda’s SAVI Ranch had marked temporary curbside spaces just outside their front doors for customers with online orders to have their purchases loaded into the trunks of their cars.
Activity in Downtown Fullerton was as sparse as any day during the statewide shutdown on Friday – a traffic sign on Harbor Boulevard flashed: “limit travel … stay home.”
幸运飞艇app直播视频官But business boomed at the reopened Mums the Word, where florist Kimberly Vasquez had received so many Mother’s Day orders, she had to turn off her phone.
幸运飞艇app直播视频官Vasquez, the owner, said she was working on some 120 flower arrangements for delivery Saturday. In a typical year, she has weeks to prepare for the Mother’s Day rush. This year, she started on Monday.
Most people that have called are regular customers.
“They’re like, ‘Yes! You’re finally open,’” Vasquez said. “We’ve been blessed with an overwhelming welcome back.”
幸运飞艇app直播视频官Klink said Hobie Surf Shop in San Clemente has seen about 30% to 40% fewer sales than it would during regular times.
And in the first couple hours of its re-opening in San Clemente, only four customers had stopped by Eric Mickelson’s The Abode, which sells an eclectic mix of items from salt and honey to desks and Terra Bella pottery.
幸运飞艇app直播视频官“It’s so nice to see our customers again,” he said. “It’s nice to have the door open.”
幸运飞艇app直播视频官But he doesn’t know how long the store can survive if tourists aren’t coming, nearby restaurants aren’t accepting dine-in customers and the shop can only offer curbside pickup.
幸运飞艇app直播视频官“Right about now is the breaking point,” he said. “If we are shut down a whole lot longer, the business may not survive.”
幸运飞艇app直播视频官And only a couple customers had stopped by for much of the day at Deanna Frieze’s Sunny Days clothing shop in Laguna Beach.
“You can have a carrot, but can’t eat much of it,” Frieze said. Until the store opens fully, “we don’t expect much business now.”
幸运飞艇app直播视频官But there may be a silver lining, Denayer said. His Nic’s Vacuums and Small Appliances had long wanted to explore delivering appliances and goods to homes because parking in San Clemente’s downtown can get crowded. This pandemic, with everyone ordering delivery, may make the concept permanently more acceptable to people, he said.
“Now, it’s going to work out a lot better.”