Coronavirus in California: Some stores, shoppers say Phase 1 of Stage 2 is pretty meaningless

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- There was not a lot of enthusiasm among shop owners or shoppers on Chestnut Street in San Francisco Thursday morning for the Stage 2 process of reopening the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Starting Monday, shops in San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties will be allowed to offer curbside sales.

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But the owner of clothing store Jack's San Francisco says he will not be offering curbside pick-up.

"For me, it's really not all that helpful. It would cost me more money to open and do curbside then it does currently doing what I'm doing right now - a limited amount of online sales. Until I can actually have people come in, it's not going to be cost effective for me," said Scott Knell.

Many stores had to shift to online sales when the pandemic started. And shoppers have gotten used to it.

"For me, I have done a lot of online ordering. I don't know if the curbside pick-up is going to get that many customers because I think a lot of them -- especially for bookstores and retail -- you can order online and get kind of the same experience without having to leave the house," said San Francisco resident Jeff Hardin.

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Kayla Christenson also said she was not interested in curbside pick-up.

"Usually I like to try on my clothes, so doing a curbside pickup instead of just ordering online doesn't really make sense. It's great for businesses that want to open up that don't have that online ordering system. So I think that would be great for them," Christenson said.
Knell says he would rather come in and handle his few daily online sales then sit at the shop for curbside sales.

"I mean, who wants to stay open all day just so if somebody happens to pull up you can run something out to them?" he said.

But he is also trying to limit the online sales. He still wants to encourage the experience of shopping in person.

"Do you really want to get rid of the mom and pops? I mean is that really what you want to do? I don't want to be an Amazon. I want to stay a mom and pop local store," Knell said.

He says he will return to the store with enthusiasm when it is allowed to fully re-open. He believes that can be done safely, with limiting the number of people inside at a time and making sure everyone wears a mask.

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