Businesses prepare to close storefronts as list of essential businesses shrinks
Published Saturday, April 4, 2020 7:02PM EDT
KITCHENER -- As the Ontario government continues to manage the outbreak of COVID-19, the list of essential business has been updated.
Stores selling pet supplies, hardware and cannabis are among the workplaces forced to close to the public, instead offering alternative methods of sale.
The updated Emergency Order goes into effect at midnight, and will require a new slew of stores to close for at least two weeks.
At Ren's Pets, employees say there were people in the parking lot before they even opened.
"Everybody is worried that you're not going to have food for your dogs," says customer Nikkole Oliveira.
She says she tried to stock up on as much as she could so that she doesn't run out, but Ren's Pets President Scott Arsenault says there are other options available to customers.
"You can go online and you can buy, shipped to your house, or you can have it at the curb," he explains.
About a fifth of total sales at the store have come from curbside pickup orders since physical distancing measures were put in place.
"There was approximately 40 to 45 orders that were waiting for us since last night," employee Rebecca Sauve explains.
Arsenault promises that, despite the store closing to shoppers, there will be plenty to go around.
Hardware stores have also been moved to the non-essential business list, now offering curbside pickup and delivery only.
But Megan Brubacher, who owns the Home Hardware in Wellesley, has already been offering that service.
"We just made that decision because it was easier for our customers and our staff to have less foot traffic in the store," she explains.
Customers, for the most part, have been enjoying the easy and safe service.
Cannabis retail stores are also deemed non-essential, and will be required to close their storefronts. Sales will move online, instead.