Reopening Bay Area: Retailers begin curbside sales in Contra Costa County

Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Contra Costa Co. retailers begin curbside pickup
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Retailers in Contra Costa County will be allowed to reopen for curbside pickup. This is part of California's Phase 2 where safety measures will still need to be implemented.

LAFAYETTE, Calif. (KGO) -- Contra Costa County became the latest county Tuesday to allow retail to offer curbside pickup.

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As in other counties, we found confusion, some appreciation and some wistfulness from business owners.

"I'm excited that it's one step closer to returning to some sort of normalcy," said Lorin Platto, as she opened her Lafayette boutique Luck Tuesday morning. "It is symbolic to me that we are moving forward. We are now in phase two-that means phase three is next. Any additional phase is good."

Platto has been connecting with customers during the novel coronavirus pandemic by showing clothes in her Instagram feed and delivering orders to customers' homes. She is worried she maybe spoiled them but is going to offer the curbside service in the hopes that they will return.

"I don't know if curbside is a bigger incentive than me bringing it to their house, so I don't anticipate today being any different," she said.

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Stores seem split across the Bay Area on whether to offer curbside service. The two stores next to Luck, Venture and Francesca's, did not open their doors Tuesday morning. One business owner in San Francisco said last week he also wasn't going to do it. He thought it would not be profitable and planned to keep just offering online sales.

Platto acknowledged she needed and wished the county would take it a bit further.

"I think it would be a game-changer if I could offer one-on-one appointments. You would sanitize when you come in, I am the only one holding the bottle, you have to wear a mask," she said, pointing out clothing needs to be tried on.

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"Online is great and it has been my life savior but it's not the same experience, especially for a local boutique like mine, where you can go down really quickly and get a top for that zoom call that night or backyard six feet get-together," she said.

She also wishes the counties would all adapt the same rules. Contra Costa County will not allow window shopping.

"Every county is doing it a little differently. I heard in San Francisco customers are allowed to come to the window and shop. I think that would be great too if they could just come to the window," she said.

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Cases of COVID-19 have gone down in Contra Costa County, but the county health officer is still wanting to take a slow and cautious approach. He has not said when the next phase will start.

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