Page 14 - BusinessWest August 3, 2020
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 Nate Clifford has also navigated the ups and downs of shutting down and reopening at Cor- nucopia, the natural-foods store he and his wife, Jade Jump, own at Thornes Marketplace in down- town Northampton. They were among many shop owners who had to shift their business model on the fly to survive the past few difficult months.
In fact, March 15, the day they and all the other Thornes stores shut down, was the couple’s one-year anniversary of buying the 40-year-old establishment. Though sales of food and wellness products may have made Cornucopia an essen-
“We had such a rush of people, I had to step into the back room to shed a few tears. I thought, ‘we’re going to be OK.’”
tial business in the state’s eyes, Thornes made a decision to shutter the whole complex, and that meant Cornucopia, too.
“We understood, but we made an impas- sioned plea to the landlord to give us some access for pickup and delivery, with the goal of helping people, especially the older population around here who need us,” Clifford said. One day later, on March 16, they were back in business with that new model.
“We put a simple order form up on the website and told people, ‘you shop here; you know what’s here — what’s your wish list, and we’ll get the best possible order for you.’ We delivered, or you
could pick it up and we’d run it out to you, put it in your trunk or in the pas- senger window, whatever you were comfortable with. We did that for three months, and we were overwhelmed with the support we got.”
That support was cer- tainly reflected on June 15, the first day shoppers were allowed back in the store itself. “We had such a rush of people, I had to step into the back room to shed a few tears,” Clif- ford said. “I thought, ‘we’re going to be OK.’”
Unfortunately, not all retailers can say the same thing. They’ve seen some pent-up demand, to be sure, but 2020 is turning into a very challenging year as many shoppers are staying home, cutting back on their spending (or both), and doing most of their buying online.
Dave DiRico says a mini-explosion in the popularity of golf has helped offset some of the huge losses incurred when his shop was shut down by the pandemic during the spring.
     Still, retailers are happy to be open again, even if the long-term outlook is mixed, and consumer confidence remains uncertain.
One Step at a Time
Sharon Cohen, who has owned Footbeats for Women at Thornes for the past four years, noted
that, without college students and tourists from out of town, business is slower than is typical for this time of year, but customers are returning steadily. She’s happy to see them, especially after instituting the safety measures mandated by the state — and by common sense.
“We’ve revamped the way the store is laid out to promote social distancing,” Cohen said. “Shop-
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