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Area Stores Gearing Up for Reopening with Phase 1 of Gov. Cooper’s Plan to Restart North Carolina’s Economy

For six weeks, the Boone Mall parking lot has sat empty as stories were closed dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The mall will reopen on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. as Phase 1 of Gov. Cooper’s reopening plan for North Carolina begins. 

By Nathan Ham

Retail shops throughout North Carolina can reopen their doors this evening at 5 p.m. as Phase 1 of Governor Roy Cooper’s reopening plan begins.

Stores like antique shops, book stores, clothing stores and boutiques are some of the stores that you will find opening this weekend that were deemed non-essential during the stay-at-home executive order from Gov. Cooper. Stores can open at 50 percent capacity while continuing to practice proper social distancing inside and repeated cleaning and disinfecting.

All workers and shoppers at retail stores and other businesses are recommended to wear cloth face coverings but it is not a requirement from the governor’s office. 

Mast General Store will be doing pick up at the Boone location on Saturday.

“We are taking online orders for store pick up on Saturday. Pickup hours are noon – 4 p.m. Orders must be placed on the website. Choose ship-to-store as your delivery method and then choose your location. This is being offered in Columbia, Greenville, Knoxville, and Boone. Orders placed before 3 p.m. can be picked up the same day,” said Sheri Moretz of the Mast Store. 

The Mast Store Leadership Team is diligently planning the reopening of its stores. Those plans include training employees on new procedures and processes. Once those plans are in place, their doors will reopen to the public.

“We want to be thoughtful and keep the safety of our employees and guests at the forefront of all of our plans,” said Moretz.

In Blowing Rock, Monkee’s owners Kenneth and Jess Wehrmann will be ready to go Saturday morning.

“Kenneth and I are excited to welcome our clients and friends back into Monkee’s of Blowing Rock. We are doing all we can to ensure a safe and healthy shopping environment for our clients and employees. As a small business, know we appreciate our community’s loyalty and support,” said Jess.

Monkee’s is a ladies’ fashion boutique located in downtown Blowing Rock. They offer designer shoes, clothing, and accessories. Store hours are Monday – Saturday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. with private shopping appointments available at 10 a.m. Monday – Saturday. Monkee’s will also continue curbside service and web sales at monkeesofblowingrock.com.

Boone Mall is planning on opening at 11 a.m. Saturday morning. The current plan is for mall hours to be 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon through 5 p.m. on Sunday. 

“We have precautions that we are putting in place. All employees will be wearing masks and gloves while inside the premises. We will also have sanitation stations set up at all entrances, outside the bathrooms, and at center court by the mall directory,” said mall manager C.K. Golden-Fields. “We also have extended our cleaning procedures to disinfecting the handles multiple times a day and putting up posters highly encouraging customers to wear facemasks, gloves, and practice social distancing.”