Edgeville Buzz

Four Andersonville Retail Shops Proactively Close To Help Slow Covid

With Covid-19 cases and deaths surging across Illinois, local businesses are feeling the financial pressure as tighter restrictions begin today. At least four Andersonville retail stores however have already made the decision to temporarily close their brick and mortar storefronts to help protect their employees and customers from the virus.

Though stores with online shops and programming remain virtually active, the businesses say the physical closures were not only a responsible choice but a very difficult decision to make as well. The Brown Elephant, Early To Bed, Swedish American Museum, and Women & Children First Bookstore all made the decision as the deadly virus now heads into its worst wave, a prediction called months ago.

Women and Children First Bookstore has already been closed for the past seven days and is not expected to open for another two weeks. With Black Friday and Small Business Saturday just around the corner, the move could come at a great cost.

“With cases of COVID-19 skyrocketing across the country, we are prioritizing everyone’s health and safety by re-closing our physical doors,” said Women and Children First Bookstore management. “This was a very hard decision. Sales in November and December are critical to the survival of retail. It is difficult to imagine our aisles being empty on days like Black Friday or Small Business Saturday. But as a mission-driven bookstore, we look forward to welcoming you back only when it is safe to be together again.”

All of the business except for the Brown Elephant are now stressing their online presence in hopes of attracting the business that their physical storefronts would have made if not for the pandemic. Customers can purchase most of their inventory online and either have the packages mailed out or they can opt for curb-side pickup during designated hours.

“One of the many things I love about our neighborhood is that it is not always profit over people,” said Andersonville Chamber of Commerce’s David Oakes. “These businesses chose to close before any State or City mandate out of concern for their employees and customers. They want to make sure it safe to interact with each other so they are removing the in-person shopping and going primarily online.”

If the feel safe to do so, all four businesses expect to open sometime in December. Brown Elephant announced they would close for one month on Nov. 13, Swedish American Museum will reopen on Dec. 9, Women & Children First said they would close for three weeks starting Nov. 13, and Early To Bed is still making the call when to reopen. These dates are subject to change.

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