Mass. retailers reopen Monday for curbside pick-up only

BOSTON — Retailers could reopen Monday in Massachusetts for curbside pickup sales only after these small businesses were closed for the last couple of months because of COVID-19.

“I’d love to be able to let them back in, but we’re not there yet,” said Jennifer Hill, who owns Blackstone’s on Beacon Hill. “It’s just nice to see the faces at the door, I think today was one of the happiest moments in the last few months was to see faces we knew and faces we didn’t know.”

While closed down for the last couple months, Jennifer Hill also moved her store ‘KitchenWares’ from Newbury Street to her Blackstone’s location on Charles Street, combining both shops.

She says she’s just glad to be able to reopen in some capacity, even if customers can’t actually come inside the store yet.

“I knew what I wanted already so that was probably easier,” said Barry Proctor, a customer who picked up an item Monday. “I wasn’t browsing, I was able to purchase my new pan to make rice noodles in.”

Customers were met with a bungee cord blocking off the front door to keep them outside.

They’ll also see a sanitation station by the front door, with employees wearing masks inside.

Hill says window shopping will now be taken to a whole new level.

“The advantage we have, we’re only 500 and something square feet, so you can see back into the store more easily than if I was a 2,000 square foot store,” said Hill.

Hill says for customers who may not feel comfortable picking up their items at the doorstep, they’ll place their items on shelves outside the store for pickup.

Store manager Tanisha Gray is looking on the brighter side after their store lost 70 to 80 percent of their business during this pandemic. She says while they were closed, they were able to build up their website to offer all of their inventory online like never before.

“We’re trying to make sure that everyone feels comfortable including ourselves, and there will be people after this is all over who may want that virtual experience,” said Gray. “So we’re trying to be pioneers and set up this opportunity for people to shop all over the country not just in our local communities.”

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