Slow start to business in Santa Clara County on first day of reopening

On Friday, Santa Clara County, the last holdout in the Bay Area, entered Phase 2 of reopening, allowing for retailers to offer curbside pickup. 

Businesses are hoping customers will be willing to adapt to this new way of shopping. 

At the golf apparel store, Travis Matthew, employees prepared for something they haven't seen in weeks —customers.

"When I came into the store it was like mask on, clean, and sanitize everything and then get back to work," said store manager Bruce Relleve. 

For Santa Clara County, it was the first-day retailers were allowed to do curbside pickup and making sure shoppers know has been challenging.  

"For my customers, I've sent out emails too and they're like ,' Oh you're doing curbside' and I'm like, 'Yeah I'm here. I'm ready to rock,'" said Relleve.

At Santana Row, they've got a system in place. There are six designated pickup zones spaced around the outdoor mall.

"You can pull up almost right in front and it makes it so convenient and effortless from a customer perspective," said Collette Navarrette director of marketing for Federal Realty that oversees Santana Row.

A convenience they're hoping customers will take advantage of, possibly picking up clothes and dinner at the same time. So far about ten stores have opened for curbside pickup in addition to the restaurants already doing it.

"I feel like every week we're going to get at least five or six more retailers coming on board. So we're starting with a solid 10 and then it will increase after that," said Navarrette.

Still stores recognize it won't be easy to change customer habits.
But at West Elm in Palo Alto, they're hopeful people will embrace this new normal.

"It's just a way of us evolving as a team here, as a company, as a community. And I think we're all moving in the right direction," says Kim Nguyen, general manager of the furniture and home decor store in Palo Alto.

As part of Phase 2, manufacturers and warehouses that support retail are also allowed to reopen. So are outdoor museums and historic sites.