Connect with us

Top News

Reopening Coronavirus: small shops struggle with the process



Reopening Coronavirus: small shops struggle with the process

For small business owners, steps towards opening their doors again after coronavirus locking are welcome – but far from easy.

Two small Los Angeles merchants who could name celebrity clients from the days before COVID-19 found that shoppers who walked were mostly shoppers. Although some areas in the state are loosening the limitation of coronavirus, in-store shopping in Los Angeles County is still largely limited to food and other important businesses.

Kitson on Robertson Boulevard is a unique clothing and gift seller who won’t die. Small Trends selling children’s clothes that are trendy in competition with giant chains that have a lobby bigger than the single store Sherman Oaks.

Now, the tourism dollar is gone. Online traffic is not strong enough to make up for lost in-store sales. Some employees are afraid to go back to work.

All leave Kitson, at best, 15% of the previous income stream. Little Trendz has only had a handful of customers in the past week.

“It’s like trying to start a business from scratch, when you don’t know what you will sell, or to whom,” said Fraser Ross, owner of Kitson, who reopened his shop to curbside services on May 8.

The owner of Little Trendz, Sara Petikyan, left, and the Arpine store manager, his sister, are masked and gloved at their Sherman Oaks store. They want to show passers-by that they take every precaution.

(Ronald D. White / Los Angeles Times)

Sara Petikyan, owner of Little Trendz, is happy to be back at her shop again but knows that the road ahead will be difficult.

“Nobody is interested in buying shirts for their children when they are worried about feeding their families or looking for work,” he said. “So I understand why we earn so little. This is a struggle. “

Lars Perner, an assistant professor of clinical marketing at USC Marshall School of Business, said business has never faced a mixture of negative and contradictory forces.

“This is a very different situation facing business, very real,” said Perner, whose specialization includes consumer behavior and how buyers react to price changes.

“People who still have jobs sometimes receive salary deductions or are very worried about how long they will get it. And there is still so much fear around the virus that there is a kind of social disapproval of the risk of going out to shop somewhere for things that you really don’t need, “he said.

See also  3 US Navy aircraft carriers are patrolling the Pacific. And China is not happy

Kitson opened on designer-studded Robertson Boulevard in 2000, becoming a destination for paparazzi to take photos of young celebrities. The brand survived two recessions and expansions – some say overexposure – to 17 locations. At the end of 2015, new management began liquidating Kitson brick and mortar stores and e-commerce operations.

Ross had left Kitson before the unexpected closure, which brought many lawsuits by all parties. In 2016, Ross launched a comeback, opening another pop-culture flavor shop, dubbed Kitross, at Robertson’s original location. Eventually, the operation became Kitson again.

The Kitson business model utilizes impulsive purchases, with a range of eclectic items ranging from original artwork that can be sold for several thousand dollars and cashmere sweaters for $ 600 to greeting cards that sell for $ 5.95.

The pandemic has been a blow, Ross said, combining the dangers of viruses with shutdowns at home that shut down his physical store as an insignificant business, even when large chains such as Target and Walmart can continue to sell gifts and other goods along with needs that cannot be done by consumers .

“They shouldn’t be allowed to do that when we can’t,” Ross said. “We can practice social alignment in retail as well as other people.”

On a recent workday, Kitson and the nearby Kitson Kids store were the only company on the block that was open to roadside businesses, making Robertson Boulevard seem largely deserted, except for some light vehicle traffic that might have been rare before the virus. Kitson outlet stores and Beverly Hills pop-up stores have not reopened.

“This is not good, but every little bit helps in sales, from curbside to the internet,” said Ross, who added that he averaged nearly 30 curbside customers a day. “But I don’t know what the outcome will be at the end. Just like, this is a new world, and we have just adapted when we … walked together, and with what we can do and what we cannot do.”

Unsold inventory has become an additional problem, Ross said.

“We usually sell Mother’s Day cards every year, and I only pack 500 cards. Easter? “I pack those things,” said Ross, now wondering if he should do the same thing next month for Father’s Day.

“The swimming pool is floating, actually, I have done well, because people are stuck in their homes, so we will have some interesting items. But apart from that, I don’t know what will sell and what won’t, “said Ross. Puzzles for adults and items to keep kids busy are also popular.

See also  Miami stopped reopening when Florida's new coronavirus cases increased

Some Kitson workers were very happy to be back. One of them was salesman Tom Ernst, who was pacing in front of the store, masked properly, making sure the merchandise set outside to attract customers was simply arranged. It doesn’t seem to matter that business is very slow.

“It’s great to be back at work,” Ernst said. “To be able to have a place to go, where you feel like someone needs you.”

Ross said some employees were skeptical about face-to-face work with customers. He said he had seven employees back at work, and three more would return June 1, now Kitson has received funding from the federal-sponsored Paycheck Protection Program.

“We have 23 employees among our four stores, with employees, managers,” Ross said. “So, we have two who work on the internet, one who works outside for customers, one person in stock and then tomorrow we will bring back Instagram people and more web people.”

Some families don’t want to see loved ones return to retail work so quickly, as does 17-year-old Julie Kartashyan, who usually works at Little Trendz children’s boutique.

“My mother did not want me to go back to work first,” Kartashyan said. “That’s because he read the article or heard news about how the virus might still exist in August.”

As April entered May, Kartashyan’s mother said she might consider letting him back around May 15, but that date had come and gone without approval.

“And that’s even though he knows my shop is small and kept very clean,” Kartashyan said. “My mother is not worried like she is if I will return to work in a large shop; he certainly wouldn’t consider it then. “

Bosses find themselves in a difficult position too. Petikyan, 33-year-old owner of Little Trendz, said he would hold Kartashyan’s work for him for as long as needed to get him back.

“That’s all we can do for now, which is to make sure he knows he still has a job,” said Petikyan, who usually employs five workers. He applied for an emergency PPP fund supported by the government but said he had never heard from the lender.

See also  Hot Property: Pharrell's Hollywood Hills is on the market

“One thing I want to make sure of is that my employees feel comfortable before returning,” Petikyan said. “I want them to want to go back to work. We want our employees and customers to feel safe. We provide masks and gloves. We provide cleaners, and no one is allowed into the store without a mask. “

Petikyan opened Little Trendz at the end of 2016 in a 750 square foot space on Ventura Boulevard. The shop ran well from the start, he said, as the only retail company within a few blocks focused on trendy clothes, European and street styles for kids.

“We have older women who come looking for something for their grandchildren. Many people enter just because the window pulls them. We are just something different, “said Petikyan. “We have a mother with a train running nearby. They see the shop, enter, refer to their friends. So it’s good enough. “

Petikyan brought his sister Arpine, who was 34 years old, into the business to provide some of the skills he had acquired in retail management positions for several years, including at Michael Kors.

“That is something, the dream of the two of us who came together,” said Arpine Petikyan.

Little Stockz sells jackets that sell for around $ 100 and T-shirts with insolent speeches like “I’m so Prada” and “#swag” that cost $ 24.99 to $ 32.99. There is a new line of COVID clothing, including a shirt that states: “Please stay 6 feet away.”

By 2019, the larger chains have captured the popularity of urban street clothing for children and, in some cases, even offered the same brands at competitive prices, the sisters said. But that is nothing compared to being told in March that Little Trendz can only sell online – a disaster for stores that rely on pedestrian traffic for 80% of their business.

“In this environment, having many people buy goods for Easter and Easter makes March the second largest month for sales, after December,” Sara Petikyan said. “So we suddenly saw big numbers, big sales losses.”

E-commerce has made the shop run, and the sisters believe it if they can get only two customer walk-ups a day to add to their online sales, they will be able to eliminate the viral effect on the business. The store has a sign that encourages shoppers to call or send text messages if they see merchandise that interests them through the store’s big picture window or on their social media accounts.

“Pedestrian traffic outside has begun to increase,” but no one has approached them to make a purchase, he said. “This is very difficult.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Top News

Portuguese traveling the world on a minimoto will meet Ramos Horta on Timor – Observer



Portuguese traveling the world on a minimoto will meet Ramos Horta on Timor – Observer

The young Portuguese, who has been traveling the world on a mini-motorcycle since 2020, will arrive in Timor-Leste on Monday and meet with the country’s president, the motorcyclist said on Wednesday.

With a residence in Oliveira de Azemeis, in the Aveiro region, and starting his journey in Avis, in Portalegre, André Souza left Portugal on July 12, 2020 to try for a world record, and since then he has driven over 55,000 kilometers through 40 countries, always on a Honda Monkey 125 with nine horses and a height of 70 centimeters.

The 26-year-old is currently based in Darwin, Australia, and it was there that he met two United Nations lawyers who, after working for several years in Timor and personal with Jose Ramos Hortarecognized in the Portuguese trip the type of gamble that would have interested the current president of Timor, the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

This friendly couple took care of everything, connected us, and now it was agreed with Ramos Horta’s adviser that I would meet with the president on August 23, although without a motorcycle, which leaves Australia only by boat on the 24th and will not be. arrive on time to appear in the photo,” says Andre Souza Luce from Darwin.


The absence of a car at an official meeting does not prevent the motorcyclist from admitting with satisfaction: “Once I realized that I could drive Timor, it became a dream. I wanted to get to know the country that was a former Portuguese colony, and especially I wanted to get to know Ramos Horta for everything he did for the independence of this land.”

See also  Miami stopped reopening when Florida's new coronavirus cases increased

Initiallypassage through Timor was not planned in the Ride That Monkey project, but became part of the scenario when the direction of the trip had to be changed to get around the fact that in mid-2020 most international borders were still closed or severe mobility restrictions were imposed due to Covid-19.

The idea was to go directly from Europe to Asia, but I had to change the direction of travel and start from America. That is why now, being in Australia and so close to Timor, I decided to go there and through Indonesia before heading to Malaysia and Thailand, ”explains the Portuguese.

Myanmar, India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and “some countries in North Africa” ​​are the next destinations, so travel effectively cross “all the continents of the globe” before returning to Portugal scheduled for May or June 2023.

Meanwhile in Darwin, Andre Sousa continues to recover from injuries sustained in his back after he was hit by a truck in California, USA, which left him there for two months. The problem was alleviated with physical therapy and required regular medication, but the pain worsened in Australia after several days of consecutive desert crossings between Cairns and Darwin, covering a total of 2,500 kilometers.

A young Portuguese man traveling the world on a mini-motorcycle is injured in the US.

I had to lie in bed for a week, completely motionless, and now I am accompanied by a chiropractor who has already offered me three consultations for $ 110 each as support for the project,” emphasizes Andre Souza.

The motorcyclist also notes that the trip turned out to be “much more expensive than expected”, due to the difficulties associated with the pandemic and unforeseen health problems. The accident in the United States, for example, involved two months of commercial residence in the Beverly Hills area, where “the simplest hamburger cost at least 10 euros” and, just to transport a motorcycle and driver from Santiago de Chile to Sydney, “the cost was 6000”, in addition to the cost of “a number of documents” that the Australian authorities require when crossing from Darwin to Timor.

See also  J.C. Penney will get extra time from lenders in push for survival

Facing these and other budget changes was only possible thanks to the sponsors of the project and the “donations and support of many different people from all over the world” – as in the case of a Portuguese family that this week welcomes André Sousa to Darwin and 40 subscribers from different countries who donated 50 or 100 euros in exchange for having their name engraved on the minimoto’s fuel tank.

In the next stages of the journey through Asia and Africa, “there will be even more bureaucracy”, but in order to reduce the cost of accommodation and food, the young man will strive to circulate through areas where Portuguese emigrants live what they can get. André Sousa admits that he was welcomed mostly by foreigners, but he does not hide his preference: “I always like to stay with the Portuguese. They do everything they can to help me and make my life easier, and when we’re together, it’s like coming home for a while.”

Continue Reading

Top News

″We are not at the time when the Portuguese come here and discover football″



″We are not at the time when the Portuguese come here and discover football″

The writing

Abel Ferreira has already earned some criticism from Cookie, and now the tone has especially risen after a conference with Atlético Goianiense coach Jorginho.

In Brazil, they continue to discuss Abel’s trip to the locker room in the quarter-final match against Libertadores. Jorginho, the coach of Atlético Goianiense, who has already criticized the Portuguese coach, explained what would happen if the Brazilian team’s technical leader showed the same behavior.

“If a Brazilian coach went into the dressing room to listen to music during a penalty kick, he would be called a coward. But when he wins, nothing happens, everything is right,” he said in press statements.

Jorginho raised his tone and delivered a more general criticism of the Portuguese coach, recalling that football had already been invented in Brazil and that the reigning two-time South American champion had a tougher job ahead of him.

“Abel is a very good coach, period. The question of his abilities is not discussed. It is discussed, especially in this situation, that he did not discover football. football! What happened to Jorge Jesus was extraordinary, what happens to Abel too, but that’s because they have a team like Flamengo and Palmeiras. I want to see him do what he does here at Atlético Goianiense. Come here to become the champion of Brazil,” he explained.

See also  'SNL' alumni Jay Pharoah said LA police approached him at gunpoint and kneeled around his neck

Continue Reading

Top News

Francisco J. Marques: “It seems that the evil of Portuguese football is the behavior of the FC Porto bank…” – FC Porto



Francisco J. Marques: "It seems that the evil of Portuguese football is the behavior of the FC Porto bank..." - FC Porto

Dragons Communications Director Thinks Judges Are Overzealous

Francisco J. Márquez once again criticized the strict actions of the refereeing teams against the FC Porto bank, especially Sergio Conceição, citing as an example what happened in Wiesel compared to what happened in Casa Pia Benfica. The Communications Director of FC Porto considered it an exaggeration how the referees penalize the banks. “The strange thing is what is happening, it seems that the evil of Portuguese football is the behavior of the banks, especially FC Porto. It’s a bit strange that after two days of announcing the new recommendation, this so-called zero tolerance is limited to the Porto FC bench, when in the Casa Pia Benfica game we saw the reaction of the Benfica bench. I think it’s nothing to worry about, it’s normal in any championship, but with zero tolerance for these people should be warned. In the case of a yellow card, Sergio Conceição in Wiesel, the rules were strictly observed because he left the technical area, one can warn with a yellow card, but how many times the coaches leave the technical area “Jorge Jesus played on touch line as if he were a full back I admit that Sergio Conceição left a little technical area but this whole situation does not make sense, let’s hope that common sense will prevail and not force unnatural behavior There are players, coaches and managers who live the game intensively, there are different views on the game, I think that what is happening is a clear exaggeration and this needs to be edit,” Francisco J. Marquez said in an interview with Porto. Channel. .

By appointment


leave your comment

Continue Reading