SAN MATEO (CBS SF) — San Mateo County health officials just gave the green light for certain retail stores to allow curbside pickup starting Monday.
And it may be just in time for many cash-strapped, shuttered businesses. New data shows April’s plunge in retail sales nearly doubled the record drop set just a month earlier.
But many owners are skeptical about how much revenue can be generated, as another month of rent owed, is just around the corner.
For 36 years in the music collecting and selling business, Tommy ‘Toonz’ Predovitch has run and owned Vinyl Solution Records in San Mateo.
“I’ve been through the digital age, the downloads period, and the sharing files,” said Predovitch.
He bought Vinyl Solution Records in 1984, always believing the music would never die.
“The pandemic hit and now I’ve got a full store that’s basically a storage locker,” said Predovitch.
New numbers show retail sales fell a record 16.4% last month. Clothing stores took the biggest hit tumbling nearly 80%. Sports, music and other hobby stores dropping 38%.
“There’s certainly a backlog of inventory for the retailers because they had planned to sell this at this time,” said Jack Kleinhenz, Chief Economist for the National Retail Federation.
“I hope there’s a survival rate that’s greater than predicted,” said Predovitch.
Hope is what store owners like Tommy hold onto as curbside pickup begins Monday, and possibly an uptick in sales.
“I’ve been in a two month shock, trying to prepare but how do you prepare for something that’s unknown,” said Predovitch.
That uncertainty includes not knowing if he’ll hang out with customers for hours inside again, sharing memories of concerts, rockers, and his first love, music.
“I don’t want to say it in a bad way. It’s sort of like an addiction but it’s a good one,” said Predovitch.
San Francisco stores will also kick off curbside pickups starting Monday. Santa Clara County is the only Bay Area county that will not allow these kinds of sales starting early next week.