Clinton stores reopen, while some can’t wait to open as part of Gov. Lee’s phased plan

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CLINTON, Tenn. (WATE) – Retailers in 89 of Tennessee’s 95 counties reopened Wednesday as the state begins the next wave of reopening its economy.WATE 6 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Don Dare visited Clinton, to talk with excited shoppers and store owners who were pleased to see customers again.

Store managers say it’s been a tough five weeks since the COVID-19 shut down last month. The reopening of stores was not like the madness you see on Black Friday in November when hoards of people rush in through the doors.

The state’s phased reopening plan will likely take a few days or a week as we get comfortable with the new normal.

At Hammer’s Department store in Clinton, they’re putting safety first as they reopen under Phase 1 and rebound from the impact of the coronavirus. For shoppers, they’re excited to be back inside, but also cautious.

“I think that it’s good. Things should open back up as long as people abide by the plan.”

Carolyn Foster

Employees at Hammer’s are following the plan by wearing masks and keeping their distance.

“We want to be able to reopen safely so we can protect our employees. We want to make sure we have a safe and clean environment for our customers.”

Kelly Calhoun – Hammer’s co-owner

As a precaution, there’s a limit on the number of customers permitted in the store at one time.

“We felt like that was the amount of people we could safely have in here spread out through the store to adhere to the social distancing guidelines.”

Kelly Calhoun

Hoskins Drugstore has been a fixture in Clinton for 90 years, and the pharmacy side of the family-owned business never closed for COVID-19. But, the old fashioned soda fountain and ever-popular dining booths remain closed at least for a while longer.

“We could open, but we are measured in our steps trying to figure out and navigate this new phase that we are in. We hope to quickly get back to normal.”

Mollie Farrar, Hoskins Drugstore

Since last month, Hoskin’s curb-side service has become ever popular, like most businesses now reopening the emphasis is on safety.

“We have created a space where we felt was a best practice for us in order to keep our employees and our customers safe by blocking off the front entrance since mid-March.”

Mollie Farrar

Clinton is known for its antique shops, as they have more than 20 of them. While they’re cleared to reopen, many however, remain closed.

“We have probably another couple of weeks. Everyone is going to kind of ease into reopening. Based on what COVID-19 continues to do.”

Jason Deel – JD’s Realty Auction

One store that opened Wednesday is JD’s Realty and Auction. Jason Deel and his staff credit the business’ online service and demand for quality antiques for keeping them afloat since mid-March.

From Hammer’s Department Store on one end of the city, to Hoskin’s and antique row on the other end, they can’t wait for reopening phases two and three.

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