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Local retailers welcome customers after sales drop during pandemic

Posted at 7:10 PM, May 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-17 01:28:52-04

TUSCON, Ariz. -- It's been curbside up until now for some, but today all retailers can open their doors to customers.

During the shutdown, retailers nationally saw a 16 percent drop in business.

Sales have gone down at local retailers across the City of Tucson, but local retailers are stocked and ready to go.

“We are open. We are ready for business. We are being as safe as we possibly can,” said Mark Levkowitz.

Levkowitz's family has owned Chicago Music Store for about a century, and he said the shut down was unexpected although he didn't have to completely shut his doors because his business was considered essential for musicians of all ages, including those in school.

“I don’t think anybody has ever seen anything like this,” said Levkowitz.

The feeling is mutual for local retailer La Contessa on the eastside of Tucson.

“I just really didn’t believe something like that could happen,” said Kara Moello, owner of La Contessa.

Nationally, retailers saw business drop about 16 percent last month, according to AP. It's something local owners aren’t surprised by.

Chicago Music Store saw a 25 percent decrease in sales, whereas La Contessa didn't make a sale in April.

“Not with the restrictions that are being put on people and those who don’t have restrictions are afraid to go out,” said Levkowitz

But both are open for business, even going above and beyond for their customers.

"We have people who want to return their instruments because their kids are not playing it because it’s the end of the school year, well what we’ve done is we’ve allowed them to keep their instruments for an additional two months with no additional charge,” said Levkowitz.