Local retail stores feeling the impacts of COVID-19

Posted at 2:34 PM, Jul 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-01 18:05:27-04

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - The coronavirus is hitting some businesses harder than others.

News 3 went inside the Philip Michael Fashion for Men store in Norfolk to learn how they are dealing with the harsh impacts of COVID-19.

Wearing a shield and gloves, Philip Scotti showed how they now do alterations at his business.

Scotti said they are constantly cleaning, using only two dressing rooms and maintaining social distancing.

He said he has been in the men’s retail business for 50 years and has never seen anything like the loss of sales they are currently experiencing due to COVID-19.

“We’ve been through recessions in Hampton Roads, we’ve been through wars when all the ships were gone, and it was never as devastating as this,” said Scotti.

He said sales are down 60% from last year at his six stores, but he said they will survive.

“Spring sales matter so much to us. We have Easter. We have proms. We have weddings, graduations and most of that business has been lost this year,” said Scotti.

COVID-19 is forcing more people to work from home, and fewer people are wearing suits when they go to work.

In an effort to combat the losses, Scotti has cut prices throughout the entire store to bring in more foot traffic. They have discounts between 10% and 70%. He said all sport coats are buy one, get one half off.

Related: Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce helping small businesses during COVID-19 pandemic

He is also looking forward to the future.

“We’re currently seeing an uptick for weddings right now. We feel optimistic,” said Scotti. “Our associates are the heart and soul of our business. The customers love our associates; they have great attention to detail.”

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