LIVONIA, Mich. (WXYZ) — John Yu owns Pro Sports Zone inside Laurel Park Place in Livonia. Unlike corporate big box stores, he can't ship his products in the masses to his customers, so the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting his small business especially hard.
“I was scared. I mean I’m not going to lie. When you sit at home for so long and you’re thinking about how many bills you have," he told Action News.
In his 12 years in business, he said he's never experienced a business lull like this. When the pandemic hit, he along with other retailers in the mall had to temporarily close.
"You didn’t plan this out to shut down for this long.”
Recently, loosened restrictions in Michigan now allow retailers to offer curbside service.
On May 1, Yu began selling again.
Customers place their orders online or over the phone and Yu delivers the products to their car. Normally, he doesn't even come in contact with the customers.
Laurel Park Place is offering the option everyday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. The interior of the mall is still closed to customers.
“All I have to do is kind of send them pictures and let them know the price and they just call over the phone and they just pick it up right behind this door so it’s been very easy for me.”
Yu said only a few stores in the mall are participating right now, but that's expected to ramp up.
He’s selling a lot less jerseys, because people aren’t going to sporting events right now, but he said there’s a big demand for sporting decor; Yu said the "man cave" and "woman cave" items like large sports posters and signed plaques are popular.
The Westland Shopping Center is also offering curbside retail. Their operating hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
We reached out to the shopping center to see which businesses are participating and have not heard back, however Kohl's is advertising the service outside its door.
Somerset in Troy is also offering curbside retail according to its website.
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
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