As of Tuesday, May 26, 2020
After more than six weeks of being required to shut down operations because of the COVID-19 pandemic, boutiques and independent shops were given the green light to reopen on May 27, announced Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Since late March, bricks-and-mortar retailers deemed non-essential had to close operations at physical stores. Recently, these businesses were permitted to conduct curbside retail sales where their staff was allowed place goods in the trunks of parked cars. Many retailers continued to run their digital operations.
“All retail establishments may reopen for in-person shopping,” Garcetti said during a statement made on May 26. “With the proper safety measures and with extraordinary caution we can now go back into all stores.”
Garcetti noted that consumers have been allowed to shop for goods at pharmacies and grocery stores during the pandemic shut down.
“We couldn’t shop at our local neighborhood stores. They have suffered and many are at the point where they are not coming back,” he said. “We know how to shop safer, we have learned a lot about social distancing , wearing our masks, making sure that we follow protocols on washing hands, but we have to make sure that we don’t punish our local stores and we begin to fortify again our Main Streets.”
Veteran Los Angeles boutique Polkadots & Moonbeams will reopen for business, said Wendy Freedman, the shop’s founder. It had been handling business recently with curbside pickup and virtual appointments, where Freedman would show store goods through phone cameras. When the store, located at 8631 W. Third St. in Los Angeles, reopens, it will have to follow new rules. It will remain open during shorter hours, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It must also follow protocols such as customers and staff wearing face masks and also limiting the number of people who are allowed into the store.
Freedman forecast that retailers would reopen slowly. She also noted that many consumers would take their time before venturing out. “No one’s going to be waiting in line like Starbucks,” Freedman said. But there is a lot of pent-up demand. “People don’t want wear the same stuff all the time. It makes them more depressed,” she said.
The closures come during a crucial time for her business. In past years, spring meant women buying styles for festivals like Coachella, and also special events such as weddings, graduations and Mother’s Day. But for this season, many weddings and graduations have been canceled or postponed. However, a lot of her loyal customers kept an eye out for the store. “I am so happy and grateful that people have given support,” she said.