PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A handful of people stood outside the southside entrance to Macy’s at Ross Park Mall, waiting for the doors to open at 11 a.m.on Friday.
Three of the five people were there to return things purchased online over the past two months of the coronavirus shutdown.
Justin Burrus was just happy to shop at the Macy’s in The Mall at Robinson.
“I’m excited about everything being open, especially Macy’s. Going get some shoes, some clothes,” Burrus said.
Macy’s didn’t announce the opening of the stores until Friday morning.
Tammy Cecil was out looking for somewhere to shop.
“I was kind of surprised when I saw Macy’s was opened. I don’t usually shop at Macy’s so it’s kind of a benefit for them,” Cecil said.
The doors at Dick’s Sporting Goods stores have been open to customers for a week now.
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Employees say they were busy on the first two days of reopening. Now, it’s tapered off.
They say business is sporadic and unpredictable.
Employees at Kohl’s, which opened Monday, are seeing the same pattern.
The slow return to shopping is similar to what downtown officials are seeing as many people continue to work from home.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says, “I did think in Downtown Pittsburgh, this week, we were going to see a lot more people, a lot more foot traffic, a lot more vehicular traffic. And that hasn’t been the case.”
But not all businesses that reopened with the “yellow” phase are struggling. Smaller shops like ACS Hobby in Monroeville reopened last Friday and owner Tony Sciscent says, “So far, so good. Business isn’t what it was when we closed. But we are getting a lot of customers back in and we’re getting new customers.”
It’s been a good first week at Riverstone Books in McCandless Crossing, where manager Chris Zebley says, “The first two days were spectacular. The next two days, I would have considered successful before all this stuff happened.”
As this week of yellow has progressed, there has been a steady increase of traffic on the roads.
Fitzgerald says people are just in the process of making their own decisions on what they feel comfortable doing.