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Big box retailers in WNY begin to reopen, others still waiting

Nordstrom Rack
Posted at 6:16 PM, Jun 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-11 18:16:42-04

AMHERST, NY (WKBW) — "It was the plan of the day," shoppers Ann and Michelle said. "The rack is opening so we had to be there."

Excitement is in the air as shoppers rejoice.

Latosha simpson / shopper: "It was exciting to be able to touch stuff and not be online," shopper Latosha Simpson added.

Locally owned shops were able to reopen right away once Western New York entered Phase Two of the state's reopening, but some of the big box retailers waited a few extra days. One of those stores was Nordstrom Rack in Amherst which reopened their doors Thursday morning.

"We're lucky," shoppers Katie and Carley said. "We got here early so it only took us about half an hour to check out."

Customers are happy as stores continue to open. Big retailers like Macy's at the Walden Galleria and The Boulvevard and the Old Navy stores in Amherst, Williamsville, and Niagara Falls are open for in-store shopping.

Places like Best Buy are open for curbside pickup and will be reopening some stores for in-store shopping on June 15th.

Other big names like TJ Maxx/Home Goods/Marshalls will be reopening soon. A sign on the Marshalls on Union Road in Cheektowaga says the store is targeting June 15th as their reopening date.

But other stores are still in limbo -- like Made in America. Their online sales have been strong, their flagship store in Elma is open, but their smaller shops in malls are still closed. Rob Whalen, head of purchasing and wholesale, says it's frustrating.

"Walmart's open, Target's open, and you don't see the social distancing in there. People are walking close together. What's the difference between a mall and a store like that? It just doesn't make sense to us," he said.

As of right now, malls are in Phase Four of the state's reopening but things continue to change and guidelines haven't been set. All Whalen and others can do is wait and hope things continue to move forward soon.

"We want to get into them, people want to get back to work, we want to get the economy back and that's what we're all about," Whalen said. "Creating and saving jobs."

"Everyone's been saying it," shoppers Ann and Michelle said. "It just feels so good to get out and interact with people."