BUFFALO, N.Y. — Now that Western New York is in Phase 2, many stores are able to reopen with some new guidelines.
Retail experts say it's exciting that stores can open for in-person shopping again. They also acknowledge all the changes might bring about some anxiety for both the customers and the employees.
Experts say the shopping experience at your favorite clothing stores will be different now than we've seen before. Stores will be rolling out new policies for limited capacities, mandatory mask-wearing and restricting access to fitting rooms. Many will also be introducing completely new layouts to control traffic flow. That's not to mention the new cleaning procedures, which one expert from Buffalo State College's Fashion and Textile Department says will be a good thing for the industry in the long run.
"I think that a lot of large stores like T.J. Maxx and Nordstrom Rack and so on, I think that they could use a little bit of a cleaning," Erin Habes told 2 On Your Side. "They're probably going to have a little area where you can sanitize your hands, so I think that this is definitely going to be what we're going to see moving forward."
There have also been a lot of reports and social media rumors that stores like T.J. Maxx and Marshalls will have major clearance sales when they open back up. Habes said you can expect to see lots of discounts, because the stores basically skipped the spring and part of the summer season.
"Fall rollout is usually probably July, and I could imagine that a lot of retailers are going to pushing that out even more so," Habes predicts. "They're trying to recoup what they already have out. You're going to see a lot of sales. This is definitely a great time to buy, if you are able to. Get some really good deals. These stores definitely are sitting on a lot of product."
Back to that anxiety that might come with the re-opening for shoppers, Habes advocates for what she calls "smart shopping." If you're going to go back into retail stores, be smart. Wash your hands, wear your mask, practice social distancing and respect the rules stores have put in place.