retail stores open in toronto

Here's what retail stores in Toronto are doing to get ready for curbside pickup

There's a lot of confusion and uncertainty around how retail stores should open for curbside pick up on Monday. 

Earlier this week, Premier Doug Ford announced that retail stores with street entrances could officially start providing curbside pickup services beginning May 11.

The announcement is welcomed after a couple of tough months. 

"I'm looking forward to it [and] in the long term very excited to get back into the new normal," said Kaela Malozewski, co-owner of Common People Shop

Common People Shop used to rely on in-store traffic for 95 per cent of their business, and since they couldn't qualify for government subsidies they had to scramble to adapt. 

Similarly, a unique clothing shop located in the Annex has struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic. 

"This last month, we’ve been on survival mode. The unknown has been the most challenging. How long will it last? What will reopening look like? And how do we hang on until that time comes? Now that we’re here, there’s still so much unknown,"admidts Ondina Carvalho, co-owner of Risqué Clothing

Much of the confusion comes from the vague guidelines. 

"It's exciting but it's just really weird. Everything is tented with I'm not sure how things are going to go," said Fanny Vergnolle de Villers, owner of VdeV on Lower Ossington.

"To me I don't feel like we have enough information yet in terms of what the government is allowing. Like can people come into the store and browse?" questioned Steph La Poste, co-owner of Common People Shop. 

And everyone seems to be taking a different approach, doing their best to keep staff and customers safe. 

For example, sneaker shop Livestock told blogTO they're going to do scheduled pickups, while Common People Shop is thinking of putting a table in their doorway to keep social distancing during transactions. 

Meanwhile, VdeV is ordering masks, protective shields and other supplies for their curbside launch on Monday. 

Most of the stores blogTO spoke to are only doing pick-ups at reduced hours. 

"We're going to see what the demand is and test it at reduced hours and see what happens. It wouldn't make sense to be there eight hours a day," explained La Poste. 

Similarly, VdeV is only going to be open three days a week.  

But even though curbside pick up is an optimistic move on the government and many stores are ready to go, others are taking a more cautious approach. 

"We’re going to wait another week to re-open. We’re not quite ready with masks and gloves that we’ll be needing for our staff to work safely," Carvalho said. 

"I don't want to jump back into this without the information. [I] want to do it safely," added Malozewski.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez at Livestock

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