NYC’s Phase Two Sees Retailers Crawling Back

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Tepid at best and hardly surprising.

That’s the consensus from retail executives on how stores fared during week one of New York City’s phase two of restarting its economy.

The slow turnout to shopping inside stores was expected given the ongoing fears of COVID-19 and the resulting exodus of many city dwellers to the suburbs and upstate for less dense surroundings and open areas. The lack of tourism since mid-March and last weekend’s heat — peaking at 90 degrees with humidity — further contributed to the limited business.

In several cases, retailers appeared stuck in phase one. That allowed for curbside and instore pickups beginning June 8, and manufacturing, wholesale trade, agriculture, landscaping, and construction were allowed to resume. Two weeks later, on June 22, phase two green-lighted in-store shopping as well as outdoor dining, and the reopenings of barber shops, hair salons

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