"Retail To-Go" Begins In Texas

Galleria Dallas Curbside Pickup
Photo credit Credit: Alan Scaia, 1080 KRLD

Malls, department stores and small businesses are able to reopen Friday as part of "retail to-go."

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced the plan as part of his economic strategy dealing with COVID-19.

Malls and stores can open, but people cannot go inside. Customers can buy things online or over the phone. They must pay for merchandise at the time of purchase of using their phone to avoid contact.

Customers cannot leave their car. Employees must place the merchandise in the trunk or a back seat, then employees are required to wash their hands before they handle the next customer's purchase.

"The stores must limit contact with the customers," says Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

"Retail to-go could be compared to what people are becoming accustomed to with restaurants doing to-go and take-out," says Angie Freed, the general manager of the Galleria Mall in Dallas.

Freed says she expects 15 stores to open Friday with others making plans to start sales each day. She says some stores, like Nordstrom, had launched curbside pick-up as an option before COVID-19 forced closures.

"Other retailers are adapting to it because they were forced to. Some were already ahead of the curve and already doing it," she says.

While clothing, electronics, sporting goods and other types of retail stores can open with curbside pick-up Friday, Jenkins says others must stay closed.

"Things that are not included in retail to-go are 'touch services,' like hair salons, spas and tattoo parlors," he says.

Governor Abbott is expected to announce the next phase of loosened restrictions Monday.