Back to business: Montreal-area stores prepare to open their doors amid coronavirus pandemic

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WATCH: It's been two months since most retail stores in the Montreal area have served clients. As of May 25, stores and businesses equipped with stand-alone, exterior doors will be allowed to reopen. Global's Felicia Parrillo spoke to merchants in Pointe-Claire Village. – May 19, 2020

There’s a lot of preparation underway at Artizan in the Pointe-Claire village in the West Island.

After being closed for weeks amid the coronavirus pandemic, owner Robin Barré is getting the clothing store ready to reopen.

“Our store is basically two-sided, so we’re going to make sure that there’s never more than two people in the store at the same time,” she said.

“We’re going to make sure that outside, there’s a six-foot mark on the ground” to ensure proper physical distancing in line, she added.

READ MORE: Quebec gets green light to reopen Montreal businesses, daycares as planned amid COVID-19 pandemic

Barré says customers will be asked to sanitize their hands as they walk in, staff will wear masks and clothing will be quarantined for three days after it’s tried on.

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Though the store can officially reopen Monday, she’s taking a few extra days to prepare, only welcoming clients as of next Friday.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — Montreal restaurants and bars petition to reopen

“SAQs have been open, pharmacies, grocery stores, dollar stores — us little small little independent retailers, we can do the same thing, we can put those safety measures into place,” she said.

Down the street, Lois Butler is also eager to open the doors to her boutique, where she sells gifts, home decor and consignment furniture.

“Being open again, doing business, will be a good thing,” she said.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — Montreal small businesses upset they’re closed while big box stores remain open

Butler runs the store with her husband and they will both wear visors and masks. They’ll also limit how many clients can be inside at the same time.

Butler says her store isn’t geared towards online, so her clientele would like to see it reopen.

READ MORE: Montreal business community split on decision to delay reopening of non-essential stores

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“When they’re doing their furniture, and they want to come in and they want to look over a piece that they might want to buy,” she said. “If you’re buying a cushion, you want to see the fabric, you want to see the colours.”

The West Island Chamber of Commerce says it is optimistic about the reopening on Monday, and hopes business will gradually return to normal.

“It’s a start,” said Joseph Huza, Chamber of Commerce executive director.

“You hope that people can at least get their feet wet now and then start up again. We have to start somewhere.”