Some Okanagan stores reopen without waiting for Dr. Henry’s directions

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Amanda Hidbar (left) waits for Satveer Kaur to clean the counter before dropping off her merchandise at the Kelowna Urban General Store.

(ROB MUNRO / iNFOnews.ca)

01 May 2020 – 19:00

Value Village, La-Z-Boy and a handful of other Okanagan businesses reopen quietly, even though they have never been closed.

While British Columbia’s provincial health worker, Dr. Bonnie Henry, ordered the closure of hair salons, bars, restaurants, and some other businesses, most retail stores closed. doors seeing their sales dry up, customers distancing themselves from home.

These two chains opened quietly this week – Value Village in Kelowna on Tuesday and La-Z-Boy in Kelowna today on May 1.

But there are also a few small outlets that have reopened even earlier.

“I never intended to close, but my current staff were concerned about the risks of the COVID pandemic,” Bruce Uzelman, owner of the Kelowna urban general store at Capri Center, told iNFOnews.ca.

It closed for a while, but reopened a few weeks ago after erecting a plexiglass barrier around its cash register and hiring new staff ready to work during the pandemic.

This was before Henry suggested that a coordinated approach be adopted.

“These businesses that have closed in the past two weeks, even though they were not ordered to do so. . . I’m thinking in particular of retail – bookstores, clothing stores and the like – who have opted for a mix of online and in-person services and how it can be done safely, ”she said in her update COVID-19 update of April 29. . “These are also things that we need to take a provincial approach to so that the playing field is fair for everyone and so that we can gain confidence. As consumers, we are still very concerned and very concerned about how it will work. None of us want to see us fall back into epidemics in our community. “

Bruce Uzelman reopened the urban general store after hiring new staff ready to work during the pandemic.

Bruce Uzelman reopened the urban general store after hiring new staff ready to work during the pandemic.

(ROB MUNRO / iNFOnews.ca)

Amanda Hidber said shopping at the Urban General Store was much safer than a recent trip to a grocery store that went through the pandemic as an essential service. She complained that there were no directional signs and that people gathered in the fruits and vegetables section.

In addition, she was able to buy a product she was unable to buy at the grocery store: a hand sanitizer.

While Uzelman put only plexiglass around the checkout of his urban general store, Jeff Leonard went further with his government street liquor store and Wine Shoppe in Penticton. He blocked all of his products so that customers went to an order counter – only four are allowed in the store at a time – then the staff delivered to another counter.

Several customers have told him it is the safest store in town.

Wearabouts Clothing Co. announced on Facebook on April 24 that it is reopening its Salmon Arm and Vernon stores. No one was available to explain what security measures they had taken before the reopening.

The welcome sign on the Wearabouts Clothing Facebook page.

The welcome sign on the Wearabouts Clothing Facebook page.

Image credit: FACEBOOK / WearaboutsClothing


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