Customers return to malls, retail stores across Tri-State

Retail reopens across Tri-State as part of Ohio's phased restart

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Ohioans returned to retail stores and malls Tuesday for the first time in almost nine weeks, but not every business was open when they got there.

At Kenwood Towne Center, Dillards, Forever 21, Tiffany’s, Williams Sonoma and other stores welcomed customers, but Macy’s remains closed and Nordstrom is only doing curbside pickup.

The parking lots at Kenwood were nowhere near full Tuesday, affirming Ohio’s return to retail will be tepid.

Tia Powell, a local shopper at Liberty Center, tells FOX19 NOW she wasn’t planning on coming out Tuesday, but she couldn’t resist an invite from a friend.

“My friend pulled me out. She’s actually back there in another store. She’s like, ‘Everything’s open, and I’m ready to go,’” Powell said. “She couldn’t wait and she was like, ‘It opens at 11. I want to be the first one there.’ She doesn’t like to stay in the house.”

Powell wore a mask as she spoke.

Store employees are following each store’s guidelines for mask and glove use, but for shoppers, the best the mall can do is ask. Not every shopper complied.

Meanwhile, at Rookwood Commons, only a handful of the 40-odd stores were open.

Maverick’s Chocolate was one of them. Owner Paul Picton says it’s been lonely not seeing people shopping, but he’s excited for surrounding businesses to take the next step forward.

“I know it’s not all of them. I did a walk around at lunchtime, and I think there’s maybe a third of them open," Picton guessed. "That’s probably a good idea, that way we sort of ease into this, as stores get comfortable to be able to open.”

As for what’s next:

Ohio

Friday: Outdoor dining, salons and barbershops

May 21: Indoor dining

Dates TBA: Gyms, pools, recreation centers and child care

Kentucky

May 22: Restaurants with 33 percent capacity

June 1: Movie theaters and fitness centers

June 15: Child care with reduced capacity

Indiana

May 24: Theaters at 50 percent capacity

May 24: Retailers and Malls at 75 percent capacity

June 14: Restaurants at 75 percent capacity, water parks, zoos at 50 percent capacity

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