STRONGSVILLE, Ohio — The way Americans shop has shifted with social distancing measures and safety precautions in place for the foreseeable future.
Retail stores in Ohio opened for face-to-face business Tuesday with modifications like one-way aisles, distancing markers on the floor and hand sanitizing stations throughout the store.
Governor Mike DeWine is requiring all retail employees to wear face coverings and customers are strongly encouraged to do the same.
“I don’t think we ever foresee anything like that but the measures that have been taken are necessary,” Suzi Leugers said, “And we’re excited to implement whatever is necessary to bring those customers back through that door.”
Customers will be provided with personal protective equipment at DSW locations throughout Ohio.
“As you come in we’ll have PPE up here. We have hand sanitizer,” Leugers said, “We have masks and gloves if you need them.”
Additionally, merchandised returned or tried on by customers will not be placed back on the shelf immediately.
“Anything that’s tried on in the store, we will take those shoes back to the stock room and sanitize them,” Leugers said, “And they will live back here for three to five days.”
Special try-on stations have been marked throughout the store.
“There’s enough distance here that at least four people can try on shoes at once,” Leugers said.
Julianne Lebo said she has waited patiently for stores to reopen their doors.
“I love shopping, but I know things aren’t how they used to be and I need to watch out and be careful,” Lebo said, “But I’ve been sitting with these returns in my room for weeks now.”
While some customers headed out right away Tuesday, it appears many shoppers are in no rush to return to retail stores.
There was no shortage of parking spots at South Park Mall in Strongsville Tuesday afternoon.
“I didn’t have to wait long in line at all,” Elaine Kubis said, “There was only one person in front of me.”
Many businesses are still offering curbside pickup for online orders if customers do not feel comfortable shopping inside retail stores.