Climbing COVID cases could impact holiday shopping

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – ‘Tis the season for shopping with credit cards swiping and cash registers ringing up sales but this holiday season, COVID-19 is could bring coal to many retailers.

“I’m very concerned that our businesses are not going to be able to survive this,” Rachel Michelin said. 

Rachel Michelin is with the California Retailers Association.

She says Governor Newsom’s announcement on Monday to return a number of counties back to the state’s most restrictive re-opening tier is a blow to retailers, gearing up for the holiday season.

“It’s really going to impact the decision on whether these businesses are around come January 1st,” Michelin said. 

Michelin says with indoor retail limited, or even banned in some of the tiers, it will be tough for retailers, especially mom and pop stores to keep going.

She says the state’s one size all approach, doesn’t work.

“If you’re a 1500 square foot store a 25 percent capacity limit, yeah it’s going to be tough, but it’s doable but a 900 square foot retailer, 25 percent could be life or death,” Michelin said. 

With nearly 20-percent of all sales coming in the holiday season, she says the next 8-weeks, will make or break owners — Not just financially, but also mentally.

“Mentally it becomes really difficult and it does become easier to say, you know what I’m done. I can’t do this anymore,” Michelin said. 

Michelin also says the retail rollbacks, will leave seasonal workers on the outside looking in.

“There’s a lot of people who depend on that holiday retail paycheck to augment their holiday spending. That’s not going to be there. If they don’t have the capacity coming into the stores, they’re not going to hire the employees,” Michelin said.

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