The psyche of the American shopper is volatile. Just ask Andrew Moquin, who reopened his jewelry store early last month, after three months of lockdown.
He predicted customers, flush with money they had not been spending on trips, restaurants and shopping during the pandemic, would come charging back. But business was slower than he expected at his store, Andrews Jewelers, in a suburb of Buffalo, N.Y.
“During those first few weeks out of the gate, consumers were in disbelief,” he said. “They were calling me daily asking me ‘Are you really open again?’”
But over the past two weeks, it was like a switch flipped and sales have “been on fire.” With the number of coronavirus cases declining in New York, and businesses staying open, Mr. Moquin’s customers are back in force, buying “anything with diamonds.”
“I feel like the consumers are just fed up,” he said. “They are moving on with their lives and they are saying, ‘I can’t solve these problems,’ whether it be Covid-19 or the divisiveness in the political arena. They want to be happy or they want their loved ones to be happy. You can only contract for so long before something expands.”
Connie Medina has seen no such expansion since she reopened her shop, Your CBD Store, in Albany, N.Y., on June 3.
“I figured people would be coming out in droves to purchase what they needed,” Ms. Medina said.
At first, a few stalwart customers did return to buy up CBD oils and edible products that are used for healing and wellness. But the foot traffic along her street and to nearby restaurants has been sparse.
“It’s been very very slow,” said Ms. Medina, whose store sits on New Scotland Avenue. “I think with the economy, people are saving their money and not waiting to shop or to be out and about. If they do shop, they are doing it online. Mom-and-pop stores are not on people’s minds right now.”