Retailer Calls For Easing Of Restrictions


Tribune Staff Reporter


A LOCAL retailer is calling on the government to further ease COVID-19 restrictions on businesses in the clothing industry, saying the current curbside and delivery services are not working.

Speaking to The Tribune yesterday, the store’s representative — who asked to have her identity and that of the store withheld for fear of backlash — said the restrictions have made it difficult for the company to keep its “doors open” and staff employed.

Even with the new guidelines recently implemented by the government, she said the situation has not been made any easier.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis moved the country to phase 1b of his administration’s plan of re-opening from the COVID-19 lockdown, which allows businesses to offer pick-up and delivery services if they are able to do so.

On Sunday, Dr Minnis said officials have already started implementing components of Phase 2. However, according to the store representative, the curbside services have not been working. “We’re able to do (curbside) but it’s just not working,” she said yesterday. “We’ve been open for many years and the government is killing us. We’re trying to keep all our staff employed and we’re trying to keep our doors open and it would be a shame to see a business as old as ours go out of business.

“There’s not that many businesses here that have longevity… How is it that I can’t have one customer come into my store and buy a shirt? When it comes to apparel, they want to try things on.”

The representative said while she understands the measures are necessary to contain the spread of the virus, she feels officials should allow garment retailers to conduct in-store operations to facilitate more business.

She maintained that business owners would adhere to the social distancing guidelines by limiting the number of customers inside the stores. “I know of many other businesses who are allowing others in the store and plenty of them are around the island and I agree with (them) because they should adhere to the health codes of letting in two people at a time, but we’re not able to do that,” she said. “I mean we would adhere to the health procedures but, there’s no social distancing at the banks, none of the food stores and none at Lowe’s pharmacy so what’s the difference of having 60 people crammed in at the food store to one person inside of our shop?”

She continued: “Nothing makes sense… there’s zero evidence that COVID sticks to soft surfaces. There’s actually evidence (stating) that it does not like soft surfaces or fabric so for the government to say ‘oh it sticks to clothes’. It doesn’t stick to clothes it sticks to hard surfaces.”


John 11 months ago

The curb side service also helps protect staff as well as other customers. People will go into a store and try on items of clothing or shoes and not buy anything. Or even if they purchase they leave the clothes and shoes they have already tried on for others to buy. Bahamians are familiar with online shopping where they are not allowed to try on anything. Yes they may return but not fit. And the curbside services also help with customers who just want to hangout in stores rather than shop in earnest. If a customer knows exactly what they want like a fan or plumbing part, they can drive up, purchase it and be on their way rather than having to wait whilst most of the people in the store may be browsing.


plan242 11 months ago

Hmm. So what about all the produce and other items that are handled hourly by non-gloved customers AND employees at the supermarket?!


happyfly 11 months ago

so how about stores that are curbside one day and indoor the next. What is your brilliant, scientific rationale for that. I can go into a hardware store on Monday but have to mill around in the street on Tuesday. Do they use different staff on Mondays that they care less about ? The PM is making the rules up as he goes and people like you are actually sitting around justifying the insanity of those rules. Think about it. Wendy's fast food employees are OK to work all day and night but engineers are not. Please go ahead and translate CV19 lockdown safety protocols from all of your of your historic date and scientific research that demonstrates that a 19 year old hamburger line cook is more qualified to social distance at work than somebody with an engineering degree


TalRussell 11 months ago

Placing the sound ka-ching, before PopoulacesOrdinary At Large's health!
Call me comrade cynical but makes to wonder how many the state of Florida's 19 more deaths officially recorded in just the last 24 hours, would've the merchant have liked to have rung up at her unnamed, undisclosed location's retail store's cash registers? Nod once for yeah, Twice for no?


jackbnimble 11 months ago

This curbside purchase of clothing is totally foolish. I recently tried shopping for an article of clothing and was told to go online and look at the item and the store owner would meet me outside with the item I picked. Needless to say, it was impossibly to just look at the item to determine if it would fit and the sales clerk refused to let me inside to try it on. I ended up driving away in frustration and tried another store that actually let me inside. Although I didn’t purchase an item it definitely was easier to touch and actually try the clothing. I just wonder whose bright idea it was to allow clothing stores to sell only on the curbside. The first store clerk appeared to be afraid and frustrated. The second clearly threw caution to the wind. People doing what they have to do including breaking the law to make a dollar. I agree that the curbside clothing sales cannot work. Why pay for brick and mortar and hold thousands of dollars in stock just to have someone sound outside and purchase. It’s foolish.


ohdrap4 11 months ago

They need to do what merchants do on amazon: place a diagram with measurement in inches for each size of the product.

The customer also needs to adjust. Bring an old piece of clothing and measure it against the new one to see if it fits.

Draw an outline of your foot on cardboard and bring it with you to put inside the shoes.


stillwaters 11 months ago

I know I am not brave enough to go trying on clothing behind other people.....shudder....for what? To look well groomed while on a ventilator?????


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