Curbside Pick-Up Could Soon Be Allowed For Many LA Businesses. But Some Say It Won't Help Much

Flower shops are among the businesses that may soon be allowed to reopen under relaxed coronavirus rules. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Our news is free on LAist. To make sure you get our coverage: Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter. To support our non-profit public service journalism: Donate Now.

Florists, bookstores and clothing shops in some parts of California may be able to reopen for pick-up as soon as Friday and L.A. businesses likely within a few weeks.

Still, some business owners say curbside pick-up is not going to help them.

Carolina Diaz, who owns Love's Flowers in Boyle Heights, says no one wants flowers right now.

"There haven't been graduations, people aren't celebrating birthdays, you can't bring flowers to the hospital," she tells me in Spanish.


icon
DON'T MISS ANY L.A. CORONAVIRUS NEWS

Get our daily newsletters for the latest on COVID-19 and other top local headlines.


Terms of Use and Privacy Policy


Until big public celebrations return, Diaz doesn't think being able to sell flowers curbside will help her business.

Plus, she says, people like to come in and see the flowers before they buy them.

"The type of flower, the color, the design, the structure. If they can't see them, they buy something small, like a $15-20 bouquet."

Before coronavirus forced Eso Won Books to close in mid-March, the Leimert Park bookstore frequently held events and book signings, like this one with Rodney King on April 30, 2012. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

STILL MISSING 'THE WHOLE FELLOWSHIP'

It's similar for books.

"Browsing, coming into a bookstore, the whole fellowship, talking to people, all of that" is very important, says James Fugate, who co-owns Eso Won Books in Leimert Park.

Since the Safer at Home order began in mid-March, Fugate has been shipping books to customers and promoting new books via email and on his website.

But he says without the store being open, and without events like book signings, "we're down at least 50% last month."

Still, Fugate says he'll sell books from the curb outside his store as soon as he's able.

"It's lonely," he says of communicating with customers solely via email and mailed deliveries. "It's really strange."