WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – 2020 is not the year to do last minute shopping for Mother’s Day gifts.
Many gift shops and boutiques were able to open their doors to the public again May 3rd after many states, including Kansas, entered the beginning phases of re-opening plans with stipulations to create room for social-distance, making masks mandatory for staff, and other coronavirus related safety precautions for retail locations.
Some stores have had difficulty reopening due to the lack of merchandise to stock their shelves typically ordered from China, Italy, and other countries that presented high counts of coronavirus at the end of February.
“China shut down. A lot of Italian factories shut down for leather goods. They stopped shipping in February and we started to shut down here in March, so no shipments started coming in from China or European countries,” said Jamila Sabha, Aida’s Silver Jewelry General Manager. “Thankfully for us, we always keep a large stock of our main merchants. We still have quite a bit of stock going into Mother’s Day week.”
Aida’s, located in Old Town, only re-opened Monday. but Sabha says she kept in contact with the client base the retailer has gained over the last 30 years by personally connecting with and some help of vendors.
“Some of our biggest merchants sent out catalogs on our behalf. We did as well with the new merchandise for spring. So people were calling texting, emailing.”
Even though Aida’s doors are open, Sabha, wearing a mask and providing hand sanitizer for anyone who may walk in, says some practices suggested during the stay at home will continue moving forward.
“Curbside, which is still a huge thing for us right now, and free delivery here in Wichita is how we were getting sales done during those six weeks that we were closed.”
The Workroom has stayed active during the shutdown months, utilizing online capabilities the store owner says has approved their overall online presence.
“Online shopping has been amazing. We never really had much of an online presence before and this has really transformed that,” Wichita shop owner, Janelle King told KSN.
King of the Workroom and Birney’s Snack Shop at Cleveland Corner said she got creative and lucky when it came to keeping items in her store.
“Part of being a store owner is the ability to merchandise things well,” said King. “So even though we’re working really hard right now to get ready for the opening tomorrow, we are actually extremely light on merchandise compared to normal.”
The Work Room will open it’s doors to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 15 customers at a time. King says she’s excited to re-engage with customers but doesn’t know exactly to expect.
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