Liquidation Outlet of KY is just one of many stores that reopened Wednesday after the COVID-19 shutdown, implementing new precautions to help keep customers safe and the virus at bay.
Bright orange social distancing signs were displayed throughout the store, and blue tape indicated where each customer should stand during checkout.
Co-owner Brenda Weatherford Starbird and her staff all wore masks as they went back and forth putting new inventory out on the floor.
Doors opened at 10 a.m., and Weatherford Starbird said they had a small line waiting outside.
“I think people were ready for some retail therapy,” she said.
The Canton Street store, formerly known as Indian Hills Thrift and Liquidation, carries everything from apparel and home decor to food, diapers, strollers and furniture.
Cashiers stood behind clear shields at the checkout counter, while about 10 customers browsed the store late Wednesday morning.
Most customers chose not to wear a disposable mask although they were available.
“We’ve got the face masks accessible if people want to wear one,” said co-owner Paul Starbird who wore one of his own.
He shared that the journey to reopen wasn’t easy, between communicating with the health department and sifting through the the governor’s Healthy At Work website.
“We had the health department in here, and we went to the governor’s website,” he said. “We had the floors cleaned, we sterilized the store. The employees get their temperatures taken.”
Starbird admitted that he was not a fan of the governor’s broad shutdown of businesses, but he followed the orders to make sure he could reopen to his customers.
“I’m just not a fan of someone dictating to me what I have to do,” he said. “You’re not going to take my civil rights. If it’s a matter of you being scared for someone in your family or you being susceptible to COVID-19, then you need to stay at home. Don’t punish me. I have a family to feed.”
Starbird said his wife, Brenda, led the initiative to make sure the store was up to Healthy At Work standards and had the necessary personal protective equipment.
Brenda said she was happy customers came out.
“I’m just glad that we’re able to get back open and people are having a good time,” she said.
Sharon Flynn browsed the store with her daughter Amethyst Moore, who just finished school this week.
Flynn said they were itching to get out of the house.
“You don’t realize how much you enjoy just getting out and walking and looking,” she said, noting that they weren’t shopping for anything particular.
“We’re just out shooting the breeze,” Flynn said. “Next, we’re headed to Grace and Mercy (Thrift Store). I hear they’ve got a big sale.”