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COVID-19's impact on retail: Store closings, online sales, and virtual styling

Parc Boutique

Parc Boutique

A shutdown like this can be incredibly damaging to a small business that depends on regular customers popping by to shop. Still, local retail stores are taking necessary precautions to encourage social distancing and help reduce potential spread of the coronavirus.

This means that there have been many updates, announcements, and email alerts over the past few days.

“[Our] closure directly impacts our staff and community, and is very difficult for everyone. We need all the love and support,” Parc owner Thao Nguyen wrote in an email to customers encouraging them to support local business and restaurants by shopping, showing love on social, and ordering takeout.

“Our employees are so important to us, they will be taken care of during this time! Please continue to support small businesses,” Idun owner Dahlia Bruce wrote in an email, sharing that the store was doing what it could to help flatten the curve. “Our online store is still open and full of beautiful pieces!”

Meanwhile, major malls like the Galleria are cutting hours, and some Mall of America tenants have adjusted their hours as well.

“At this time, Mall of America remains open,” MOA states via a Facebook post. “Certain retailers within the Mall have chosen to either enact limited operating hours or close temporarily. We are giving all tenants the opportunity to do what is right for their business at this time.”

For many small retail shops, their brick-and-mortar locations have closed and the future is uncertain.

“These are scary times for all small businesses,” says Roe Wolfe owner Ashley Kilcher. “The situation is evolving daily, so it’s best to check Instagram for updates on store closings and hours. We will be posting to Instagram so people can DM to purchase, we can do virtual personal shopping via FaceTime, and we will personally deliver or ship for free.”

While many businesses will be closed for the foreseeable future, you can still support them in a few different ways. You can support the stores you love by shopping online and via Instagram or Facebook, and many are offering gift-card discounts for brighter days.

Here’s what to know regarding local retailer closings:

Hazel & Rose, Winsome, and Al’s Tailoring are closed, but offer online shopping options. (Hazel & Rose is offering a $15 gift card with a $100 purchase.)

Stephanie Lake jewelry is offering free nationwide shipping plus free local doorstep delivery, as well as gift card options.

Cake Plus Size Resale's storefront is closed, but you can connect with the resale store via social as well as through their online shop. You can also purchase gift cards or a virtual style session with the store's owner, Cat Polivoda.

Roe Wolfe is closed, but available for virtual shopping on social or FaceTime, and offering a special gift card promo.

Covered in Uptown is closed, but available for FaceTime or social media-based shopping appointments. Shipping is free.

Proper is closed, but has recently launched an online store and is offering free shipping through March 31.

Mille’s storefront is closed, but customers can shop online.

Bluebird boutique in Edina is closed, but offering 20% off everything online.

June Resale is closed, but has an online shop and is offering free shipping and pickup at the store. Gift cards are available online, too.

Golden Pearl Vintage is closed, but recently launched an online shop for its vintage wares.

Parc boutique is closed, but customers can shop online or via text or social.

Idun boutique in St. Paul is closed through the end of March, with free shipping online.

Rewind Vintage is open for now, and the store is taking extra precautions to keep things clean and sanitary.

Milkweed Editions bookstore is currently closed, but you can order gift cards by calling 612-332-3192.

Magers & Quinn bookstore is open and focused on keeping the space clean.

Martinpatrick3 is open, but is also offering virtual shopping, shopping via Instagram, and curbside pickup.

SubText Books is closed but fulfilling phone and online orders.

Via’s Vintage is closed, but will potentially list items online for purchase.

Grethen House will be closed, but offers online shopping, free curbside delivery, and private appointments if needed.

Flirt Boutique will be closed starting Tuesday, but is offering private appointments (provided no one shows signs of illness), home delivery, orders via phone, and free shipping.

Next Chapter Books is open and offers phone recommendations, curbside service, and online shopping.