To re-open or not to re-open that is the question?
It's summer, things are starting to look brighter and better on many fronts; including the re-opening of many retail stores. I must admit, after sixteen months of closure, this should come as seriously "good news" for the shop. Sadly, as I explain to my customers, it is impossible. Our revenue losses combined with the nature of cards and gifts as a business, will not allow this. As I have said, the comfort of browsing and "laissez faire" conversations while pitching a sale on merchandise, is over. Further, do customers feel that sense of security looking at others pick over products, touch surfaces or sneeze in your shop? The answer is it depends on the customer. As I watch line-ups for big box continue, many do feel comfortable with the above, and thats great. But, I am not a big box and I do not have that kind of space nor means to make it happen. This is the saddest part of small, local "mom and pop" shops closing. Unless one has the ability to place safety protocols, hire staff, keep watch and ensure hygiene safety, it becomes very difficult to re-open. The good news is, customer by customer, with each door step conversation, I see that my business is still alive. This is the reality of recovery in this climate; creativity. So, as other small business owners mull over the same questions and customers wonder why he/she is not back in their respective businesses, we need to think about how small businesses will never be the same after this pandemic even if they do re-open. My prayer is they will have the support and help they need to create something out of the ashes.