Retail businesses take different paths as state opens

Updated: Apr. 30, 2020 at 4:55 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Retailers could begin to reopen across Alabama. It’s part of Gov. Kay Ivey’s safer-at-home plan that went into effect at 5 p.m. Thursday.

Those stores are now allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity.

Many stores are waiting until Friday to open their doors.

Hair Queen is taking one route, while Fleet Feet in south Huntsville is pumping the brakes.

There is no denying Hair Queen’s products are in demand. During a global pandemic, cars lined up on University Drive to get what they need.

“We’ve been able to satisfy their essential products that they need, as much as possible, but it’s nowhere near as coming get what you need at the time that you need it without any ‘oh what do I need;," said owner Anwar Asmar.

Asmar says the pandemic forced him to reduce his staff of seven to eight people a day to just two.

“As you can see it’s kind of sad, it’s sad and it hurts," he said.

To help bring them back, he’s keeping the business open Monday night so his customers can walk through that front door.

“I can’t wait, I realize how important that is, and man it’s an amazing feeling," he said.

He says he’ll be limiting the store to 10 customers at a time and is stocked with hand santizer and social distancing markers.

At the Fleet Feet on Bailey Cove, it’s a different story.

“I feel like we have a social responsibility to do things correctly and do things a little slower,” said owner Suzanne Taylor.

Taylor says her shop will be drive-thru only until Monday, foregoing in-shop sales when business is down 75 percent.

When asked if talking advantage of this big opening weekend could mean a lot, she said, "It could, it could, it could bring us up probably 10 or 15 percent, but people’s lives are more important than making some extra money.”

Two businesses, now with two ways to move forward.

The owner of Hair Queen says he's been pleased with the way state leaders have juggling safety and the economy.

The safer-at-home order is scheduled to clock out on May 15.

In Huntsville, Chris Joseph, WAFF 48 News.

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