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San Francisco retail stores prepare to reopen for curbside pickup, delivery

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — San Francisco is ready to reopen most retail stores for curbside pickup and delivery beginning Monday.

While that’s good news for many who have had their doors closed for two months, it also presents some challenges.

“We’re just excited to be part of the community again,” Ron Benitez said.

Benitez and his wife own Asmbly Hall, a San Francisco clothing boutique for men, women and kids with stores on Fillmore Street and Divisidero.

While glad to be reopening after shelter orders forced a two-month retail shutdown, he says curbside pickup and delivery provides additional challenges for a clothing store.

“The reason why you come into a clothing store is to try things on, see how fabric feels, see how it drapes over your body,” Benitez said. “Check on the size because things are cut different so we can’t provide that opportunity for the consumer anymore.”

As a result, when covered up windows are opened again they will feature different types of displays. Asmbly Hall will also be turning to social media platforms like Instagram to help fill the gap with videos.

“We’ve always had a knack for presentations skills in talking about the next product,” Benitez said. “And now we’ll talk about how soft it is how the fit is, using mannequins to show different fits and drapes and use ourselves as models to see how it fits us and what sizes we wear.”

Still, retailers like Benitez are concerned that long term this won’t be sustainable to pay the rent, pay employees and keep the lights on.

“We will have honeymoon phases and get our loyal supporters, our neighborhood customers who follow us on our social media channels,” Benitez said. “But I don’t think that is enough to sustain especially a clothing retailer for the long term.”

Exactly when customers will be able to walk into a retail store is unknown and that uncertainty is creating uneasiness among retailers.

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