Bookstores, florists among businesses that reopen in SCV

Assistant Manager Jenna Golden, left, puts out the curbside pick up sign as she and Manager Diane Roach prepare for a limited reopen of The Open Book store in Canyon Country on Friday, May 08, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal Dan Watson/The Signal

After weeks of stay-at-home orders, several more businesses in the Santa Clarita Valley reopened their doors on Friday with changes in their operations to safely serve customers and excitement for sales ahead of Mother’s Day. 

The move follows the latest directive by Gov. Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles County to start up the economy, allowing higher-at-risk workplaces, such as bookstores, clothing stores, sporting goods shops, florists and car dealership showrooms, to open once again but only for curbside pickup and delivery for phone and online orders. 

Newsom and the county issued guidelines for establishments to follow as they prepared to open, including that they must adhere to physical distancing and disinfecting protocols, provide face masks to workers, increase pickup and delivery services and post a checklist sign of compliance at the entrance of each facility. 

Among the local businesses that reopened Friday was florist shop Sunflorist in Canyon Country, which kept busy with Mother’s Day arrangement orders.

“It’s crazy, crazy, crazy. We’re really thankful for the reopening and it’s just in time to thank all the mothers who are working right now during a very tragic time,” said store manager Kimo Hernandez.

While curbside pickup service is in the works, the shop is currently offering non-contact deliveries, where drivers drop off arrangements at home porches, without the need of a signature, Hernandez said, adding that employees are also practicing up to 12 feet of distancing and delivery workers are using special racks for safer pickup arrangements. 

Owner Henriette Norris prepares Mother’s Day arrangement orders for delivery as Bloomies Florist in Newhall reopens on Friday, May 08, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal Dan Watson/The Signal

The store has largely depended on receiving goods from sellers in the region, such as Santa Barbara and San Diego, and less from out-of-state, due to fewer planes transporting non-essential goods. During the closure, the shop faced a 70% loss in sales, but Hernandez said Friday things are starting to pick up again. 

“For one, Mother’s Day is coming but also I think customers don’t know that we’re now open. We’re just getting that flow where we would normally already have that flow by now,” he said. 

Just west of the flower shop is The Open Book Canyon Country bookstore on Soledad Canyon Road, which started curbside pickup on Friday. 

“We reopened today with curbside pickup. We’re going to see what works for us because, being a bookstore, there’s a lot of browsing. We’re looking at selling bundles,” said store manager Diana Roach. 

Manager Diane Roach prepares for a limited reopen for curbside pick at The Open Book store in Canyon Country on Friday, May 08, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal Dan Watson/The Signal

The business, with four other locations in the region, only opened its SCV shop on Friday and was already seeing an uptick in orders after customers received word of reopening, said Roach. 

Though hours of operation are currently tentative, Open Book plans to stay open with curbside pickup through the weekend. To place orders and stay up to date, Roach recommends customers to visit the bookstore’s social media platforms. 

In Valencia, AutoNation Ford has remained open with its car repair and maintenance services considered essential, but on Friday, workers noticed an increase in appointments. 

“We stayed open for service and during the first two weeks when this all started, it was super slow — but now it’s picking up. Just today, we have 40 cars and that’s a really good number, because that’s usually what we get on average before the pandemic. We’re really starting to see more people now that more are starting to go back to work,” said Diana Cuvas, a service cashier at AutoNation. 

The dealership is currently only conducting car sales by appointment only, and has increased its cleaning services with workers disinfecting up to five times per day. 

“We’re also all wearing face masks. It’s been a little weird but we’re starting to get used to it,” she said. “I just hope this all ends soon.”

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