Gonya said all customers will receive a squirt of hand sanitizer as they enter the store. They’ll also find masks available for purchase for $7 in case they either do not own one or forgot theirs at home.
Shipping and in-store pickup will continue to be an option. Business hours will be reduced, temporarily, to 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointment times will be available for those who do not feel they are able to wear a mask.
Gonya and Smithson said they’re relieved the business opened an online sales site last year.
“I don’t know how we would have survived without the online store,” Gonya said. “We have some incredibly faithful local customers, as well as (a customer base) building up across the country.”
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Lynn Becker, owner of Jay’s Furniture Direct at 1101 High St. in Hamilton, said the 55-year-old business has posted a large sign at its entrance informing customers that six-foot distancing is required for all employees and customers.
Clean, new masks will be provided to those who do not have one, Becker said.
The 11,000-square-foot store affixed symbols to the floor indicating six-foot distances for customers waiting in line and trained employees on the proper way to sterilize the checkout area between customers. The store’s layout has been changed to ensure sales staff at checkout counters are more than six feet away from one another and implemented a new way of checking out.
“When a customer has to come up to sign, then our salesperson steps back the six feet while they sign,” she said. “Then they go back to their spot as our (employee) goes back up to finish the contract.”
Sales staff have been instructed to guide customers to the opposite side of the store and away from other customers to minimize the possibility of being too close to another.
Jay’s Furniture Direct also stocked up on inexpensive pens to allow customers to sign a receipt and take the pen with them to prevent other customers from using the same pen.
“We’re doing everything we can think of to be safe,” Becker said.
Chris Lester of Lester’s Rock N Roll Shop at 1959 Central Ave. in Middletown, sells everything from guitars, amplifiers and drums to rock T-Shirts and vinyl records. He said his Monday consisted mainly of marking off six-foot distances on the floor with vinyl records and making sure the entire business is sanitized.
“I’ve just been cleaning, cleaning, cleaning,” he said.
Lester said he has purposely held back special order records to ensure “the best record selection” for the first day back.
The store initially will adjust its hours to 1 to 7 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday and 1 to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. It will, at least for the time being, remain closed on Monday “just to see how that works.”
Curbside service, which was introduced during Ohio’s shutdown of retail, will remain.
Ohio’s reopening schedule
Today: Retail stores may reopen. Employees must follow social distancing practices, wear masks and follow the guidelines outlined by Ohio Department of Health Dr. Amy Acton’s order.
May 15: Barbers, nail salons, day spas, tanning facilities and hair salons will reopen and restaurants will be allowed to host outdoor dining.
May 21: Restaurants are permitted to reopen indoor dining