GRAND RAPIDS — Stores, big and small officially re-opening today, as Governor Whitmer lifts restrictions on retail.
However, shopping does come with added safety precautions and a 10-customer limit.
FOX 17 spoke to stores all over West Michigan and they all have one thing in common not matter their size: they’re happy to be back!
Apparel Buyer for Lole in East Grand Rapids, Angie Conflitti said, “It feels good to be in here the minute you walk in.”
After more than two months of being closed, stores like Lole are thrilled customers are physically allowed back inside their shops.
Conflitti said, “Everyone is ready. They’ve don’t the “Marie Kondo” on their closet, and they have been at home, and they are ready for some new apparel.”
Conflitti added that like all things during this pandemic, shopping will be a bit different right now.
“Anything that has been tried on, we are taking that off the floor for 24 hours, we are wiping down our spaces after every customer is in our store after every team member is in our store, so anything we can do we are doing,” she said.
Gazelle Sports in Kentwood, also eager to get back to work.
The store’s manager, Alyssa Davison said, “We are super excited, it’s always nice to get customers back in the store, it’s been weird the past few weeks trying to adjust to just curbside, or just phone calls.”
Gazelle Sports is operating on a first come, first serve basis, so depending on how many people are inside, you may have to wait.
You can read about their other reopening policies here.
Davison said, “If you walked up and there were to be less than 10 customers in the store, you’d be able to walk right in.”
If you’re looking for bargains right now, Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids is also open for in-store shopping after starting donations back up a few weeks ago.
Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids Chief Marketing Officer, Jill Wallace said, “I think that people love thrifting and it’s for multiple reasons. It could be because they love to do DIY with whatever they find thrifting, but a lot of it is just the thrill of the hunt.”
Like Lole and many smaller stores, Goodwill is also requiring an appointment before you show up.
Wallace said, “As of this morning we were 92% full for today and we’ve had over 4,000 sign ups. Within the first hour, our sales were well-over what a traditional budget day would look like.”
Stores of all sizes are relieved to bring most employees back and start building their business once again.
Conflitti said, “It’s gonna take a bit of time to come back from two months not being open, especially that Spring Break time that we’ve missed. We missed that whole summer prep, so it’s going to be a tough road.”
It’s one of the many reasons Conflitti hopes shoppers will think “small” for a while.
She said, “We’ve become accustomed to shopping online. It is really easy to click and grab, but really we want to be here we want to be in this community. We just need the shoppers, we need the support to be able to stay here.”