You may have to line up at stores if Fresno County goes back into 'purple tier'

If you want to skip long lines, many local businesses are still offering online shopping along with curbside delivery.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Signs of Christmas are all around. Shoppers who were cooped up for months due to COVID-19 wasted no time getting out and stimulating the economy.

For Teresa Pries, the owner of Revival 23, crowds are coming earlier this year and in full force.

"We weren't even expecting to be busy this early and our numbers are double what they were last year. People are ready to shop," says Pries.

The retail rush may be on but if COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Fresno County, it may signal a return of the lines just to get into stores.

At Fresno Ag Hardware, business has been steady throughout the year, but it's increasing as customers work to both winterize their homes and start picking up some holiday gifts.

"With the holidays, you are going to find lines no matter where you go," says manager Ian Williams.

A move to the 'purple tier' would mean shopping malls would also have a 25% maximum capacity and food courts in malls would be closed.

To make customers safer, Pries has also figured a way to rearrange her shop in a way that makes the space less cramped. It would especially be necessary if capacity is limited again.

"We're concerned. What we've done is we've spread the store out more. We've added three more dressing rooms so we can spread out our customers. We've added extra registers that are spread out throughout the store," she says.

If you want to skip long lines, many local businesses are still offering online shopping along with curbside delivery.

For employees at Fresno Ag, the threat of changing tiers and downsizing store capacity seems like deja vu.

Fortunately, store managers figured out a way to streamline customers to make their visits short and that includes waits at the checkout counter.

"Our team up front is quick, we make sure that line goes through pretty quickly, and by adding a couple of extra people, we're going to do our absolute best to get people in and out," says Williams.

If Fresno County falls back into the 'purple tier', it means long lines outside businesses such as Costco. So you will need to bring a mask, plenty of patience, and a warm coat this holiday season.
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.