Phase 2 in Saskatchewan means good news for shopaholics: malls and many stories have the green light to reopen starting Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean it’s business as usual.
Stores are adjusting to customer service that’s looking less hands-on amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Small stores like Broadway Shoe Repair have been closed for two months. As they reopen, they’ve had to make adjustments.
Despite the store’s name, no shoe repairs are happening for the next few weeks. They also sell shoes. Customers can order online or come in a pick a pair, but they can’t try them on.
“We’ve set up the shop where it’s a limited two people in here at a time, no shoe repair yet,” said owner Jeff Wickstrom.
“We’re going to try this for at least two weeks and then hopefully slowly start hiring back more staff.”
The store had to let go most of its staff because of the pandemic.
While the shoe store isn’t letting customers try on items, other stores are finding ways to make it possible.
Hats & That in Saskatoon sells hats and jewelry. Its solution for people wanting to try a hat on: “You give them a lovely little disposable shower cap to put on, very attractive,” owner Debbie Taylor giggles.
Taylor moved her business online in March when she needed to close, but she said she’s happy to have customers in person again.
“I think there’s a lot of local support for local businesses, I mean our customers are happy, they’ve been phoning ‘Are you open?’ so that’s a great thing,” she said.
Small stores aren’t the only things open. The malls have also reopened their doors.
People are busy as they catch up on the shopping they’ve been missing. They still need to physically distance, and one mall Global News visited has signage on the floors posted to remind people to stay six feet apart.
“I know that social distancing is still very important and sanitizing hands and following all the store protocol is important before entering,” said shopper Felicia Ring.
While many shoppers tell Global News they’re happy to get out, others worry unsupervised patrons might be an issue.
As things reopen, retailers say they’ll be keeping an eye on what goes on in the province. For now, social distancing and face masks will likely be the shopping norm for the next while.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
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