We're Open: Some businesses adjust, thrive despite COVID-19 restrictions

Posted at 7:01 PM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 12:56:00-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Some home-and-garden stores now offer curbside pickup for people who want to get out of the house but avoid actually going into a store.

Family Tree Nursery has three locations across the Kansas City area.

Customers can place orders for plants, seeds and other gardening supplies over the phone at the Liberty and Shawnee locations.

Once the order is fulfilled, a staff member will bring it out to the customer's waiting car.

"People still want to garden and do everything they did before," Laura Shanks, a Family Tree Nursery employee, said.

Shanks said she's noticed a spike in people wanting to grow their own food.

"I've seen a lot more vegetable sales," she said. "People are doing a lot more produce."

As people look for ways to fill their times while stuck at home due to the COVID-19 outbreak, some businesses even have reported an increase in sales.

Mulch Smart General Manager Jeff Dougan said business is good. He delivers mulch across Kansas City for sales done exclusively over the internet, which means he never has to come into contact with customers.

That said, social distancing is actually strengthening his relationships with clients, Dougan said.

"A lot more customers are coming outside to talk than they used to," Dougan said. "They'll still stay on their porch or further away, but typically when everyone was busy there wasn't a lot of folks coming out to visit."

Grocery stores and restaurants along with some big-box stores — like Best Buy and Dick's Sporting Goods — also offer curbside pickup, while Home Depot is offering free two-day delivery on purchases more than $45.