Retailers across Arkansas open for business

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More and more retail stores across Arkansas continue to open for business as Governor Asa Hutchinson lifts restrictions.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) β€” More and more retail stores across Arkansas continue to open for business as Governor Asa Hutchinson lifts restrictions.

But not all local businesses are approaching reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic the same.

“We played it safe. We limited to private appointments only so that in this 5,000 sq. ft. building we had way less than 10 people in at a time,” said Stephanie Oelschlaeger, the owner of Violets Bridal and Formal.

Violets Bridal and Formal in Fayetteville has operated by appointment-only over the last month, but as the governor continues to lift restrictions, they’ve loosened their own.

“Our prom shoppers and homecoming shoppers, they are welcome to come and go as they please,” Oelschlaeger said.

The shop is overflowing with dresses, which is why Oelschlaeger said she’s ready to welcome back her clientele.

“I just think that normalcy is nice and just having the brides in their own area is nice, so it’s actually been a really cool transition,” she said.

But opening up doesn’t mean cleaning routines and temperature checks will stop.

She said, “We still do our hand washing station and we’re still cleaning in-between.”

But other local retailers are opting to take their time opening.

“Right now as it stands we’re just going to continue to let them do things from home until we kind of get all those safety measures in place,” said Ben Clark, the CEO and owner of B-Unlimited.

The t-shirt company B-Unlimited primarily does business with college kids.

But, with an empty University of Arkansas campus, Clark said it’s just not worth it to open up shop.

“Our business dropped 80 percent because it’s university driven t-shirts, with fraternities and sororities,” he said.

Clark said he’s kept a small team to process and ship online orders.

He said, “But they’re all having to wear masks that we just kinda keep around our face so its easier for us to put on.”

While the two owners choose to move forward differently, they both have a positive outlook on the future.

“We feel like we’ll definitely be back on our feet by the fall,” Clark said. “We’re feeling optimistic, I would say that the economy is coming back.”

Oelschlaeger said, “When these restrictions are let down, I can’t even imagine what its going to be like. I think we’re going to boom actually.”

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