Coronavirus era: Local businesses adjust to new normal in retail

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WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – After more than two months, you can shop at stores again in Massachusetts.

Retail stores were allowed to open at the start of Phase 2, but under new restrictions like limiting the store’s capacity to 40 percent.

But this isn’t a problem for smaller stores.

“There is usually five or six people in here at a time and there is plenty of space to be well more than six feet away from each other at a time,” Ryan Pernice, owner of LA-Z-Boy Comfort Studio in West Springfield told 22News.

LA-Z-Boy Comfort Studio opened last Monday, the first day of Phase 2, and they’ve been following all the state’s safety guidelines including having a mask and social distancing policy. They’ve also been providing antimicrobial sheets to customers so when they test out furniture they can limit their contact.

Kohl’s in West Springfield has been doing curbside pick-up only, but they will open back up on Monday. Some shoppers told 22News they still have concerns going inside the store during this new normal.

“I felt safer in the parking lot and having someone bring it to me. It certainly is different than grocery stores,” Claudia Kurtz of Westfield said. She questioned, “Are they going to have someone controlling the amount of people going into the stores to begin with?”

“I’ve been cooped up for like three months and I want to get out and walk around looking at things. But yeah it’s nerve-racking with this virus going on,” Sylvia Scully of East Longmeadow added.

Kohl’s said they waited a week to open out of an abundance of caution for their customers.

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