Coronavirus: Roadside Pickup Does Not Change Much For Many Toronto Business Owners

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Although the Ontario government has allowed retail stores to open up to curbside pickup and delivery options, many Toronto store owners say the new rules do not change their practices.

This, they say, is because either they were already involved in street curbside pickup during the COVID-19 pandemic, or their situation did not allow them to take advantage of the option.


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Tom Mihalik’s costume store at Kensington Market, Tom’s Place, hasn’t sold a single costume in about two months. The curbside pickup option, he says, will not change that.

“It will not help our business,” said Mihalik.

“It’s hard to sell a costume without really allowing them (customers) to try it on, so … for our business to improve, we have to allow customers to come in. “

Mihalik adds that although other costume stores have asked customers to send in their costume measurements, he believes these figures are not always accurate and that the material should be measured in the presence of the customer.

“It’s very difficult because sometimes they tell the measurement lies, the tape measure lies – it doesn’t always give an exact measurement of a person,” said Mihalik.

Other store owners were unable to take advantage of the curbside delivery option and the opening of a store because they have to take care of their children.

“It’s still not an option for us until we have an option for child care,” said Pam Hopson, co-owner of North Standard Trading Post.


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Hopson adds that they are still able to ship their clothing across the country for a fee and offer free local delivery, but working outside the store is not a viable option with a child from two years in tow.

Many companies have also told Global News that news from retail stores allowed to offer curbside pickup to customers has only caused confusion – because they have been open and have offered curbside pickup since the pandemic began .

“We were confused because we had been picking up at the curb for the first week, so that doesn’t change anything,” said Daphne Nissani, owner of the Boa store.

Nissani added that some business owners sold their product via an Instagram Live social media auction.

People display certain items of clothing during the broadcast and viewers bid until a final price is reached.

“It worked very well. I think everyone was very easy to work with and so kind, so it made the process really easy for us, ”said Nissani.


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But there are those business owners who only started curbside pickup after the province gave the green light, and they are optimistic.

Kaela Malozewski is co-owner of Common People Shop, a general store that sells select products, and believes that sales will increase now that people can pick up their products instead of mailing them.

“For people who are very local, very close, not having to pay these extra costs – and if they need something small, they can just come and grab it and then leave – I think it will certainly bring a little more motivation to come shop with us, “said Malozewski.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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