Rockford retail stores take steps to prepare for tomorrow’s reopening

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Restaurant owners aren’t the only ones gearing up to see customers again tomorrow. In less than 24 hours, retail shops are also opening their doors.

Karen Elyea, owner of Minglewood, at 333 E State St, said, “I’m preparing to turn my neon ‘open’ sign on tomorrow. I’m not expecting a ton of traffic, but I’m hoping the regular amount of people I normally get will come through the door.”

Elyea says with a few changes to the interior of her store, she’s ready to reopen.

“So, basically, I’m going to get rid of the middle racks, so it’ll be wide open,” she said. “I’ll talk to you first. I’ll see what you’re looking for and I’ll pick some things I think you’ll like and show them to you, to just kind of shift from the normal way of going through every single thing yourself.”

On Rockford’s Miracle Mile, Royal Hobby owner Kenneth Lythgoe used the time closed to remodel and rearrange products.

“So, we’ve repainted our shelves, redone all the island fixtures, moved all the product around, so we can organize it,” he said.

Hand sanitizer and plastic shields will help protect shoppers and employees.

The shop will only allow 15 people at a time.

“When people come in, we’ll move the chessman,” Lythgoe said. “We just count how many chess pieces there are, and that tells us how many customers are here.”

Both Elyea and Lythgoe say they’re optimistic that customers will return.

“I’m kind of hopeful. Maybe people’s shopping habits have changed a little, but they’ll be more likely to want to shop small, shop local. That’s what we’re always going for, anyway,” Elyea said.

Minglewood will open on Friday, and Royal Hobby will open on Saturday.

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