The Major Change You'll See at Stores the Next Time You Go Shopping

Curbside pickup at retail stores will become the norm for phase one of reopening.

Now that many areas of the country have been without access to retail stores for months thanks to lockdown, many are anxious to get back to some of their favorite shops to restock on non-essential items and support local businesses. But as phased reopening begins across the U.S., customers will be stepping into an entirely different shopping experience—by not actually stepping into the shops at all. That's because curbside pickup and prepacked orders will be the new norm for non-essential retail stores opening during phase one for many states and counties.

While you may long to go back to perusing the aisles and racks of your favorite local stores, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines still stipulate that large crowds and indoor environment make it all too easy to spread COVID-19. To keep employees and customers safe, officials are planning on keeping all interactions at a minimum by eliminating busy boutiques and long checkout lines, with customers shopping and pre-paying ahead of time. Staff will also be expected to wear face masks, and hand sanitizer will likely be made available for anyone picking up their orders.

"When [a store is] closed or online you lose some of the magic, like you can't walk in and discover something you've never seen before," Mackenzi Farquer, owner of the Lockwood Shop Boutiques in Brooklyn and Queens, New York told NY1. To help boost her prepackaged sales, she plans on keeping her storefront wide open so customers who are picking up purchases can see other items and hopefully add to their orders on the spot.

Farquer says that online sales have helped her keep a small cash stream flowing into her businesses while they were shuttered, even allowing her to hire back some of her employees to help pack and order products. But she says not being physically open has severely hurt her numbers, especially after being closed for Mother's Day, reporting that "we only did 20 percent of the business we would expect to do." She's hoping that posting pictures of items will hopefully lure in new customers and orders from the street.

And for more information on how you can safely shop, learn The No. 1 Worst Thing You Can Do When Retail Stores Reopen.

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Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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