Saturday saw a lot of people who had not heard about new coronavirus measures show up at shops and malls that had to be closed. Several major stores had to reorganize their sales process.
The government's decision to close shops over the weekend includes an exception for those that offer a drive-in option for pickup. Even though the Bauhaus hardware store offers such a possibility, many customers still showed up at the door on Saturday having heard nothing about closures.
"You know, I usually listen to the news, while this is the first time that I'm hearing about shops being closed. I would have stayed home and watched TV or taken care of other business," patron Anatoli told the "Aktuaalne kaamera" news program.
Shops that do not offer drive-in customer service referred clients to their online stores and offered the chance to pick up the goods direct from their warehouses or other locations. "The customers are outside and our employees are inside, with the doorway the barrier between the two. We have placed a table there with cash registers and can facilitate sales this way," said Tomi Ranta, manager of the Motonet car accessories store.
Motonet employees were tasked with making sure customers maintained their distance from one another and staff. Ranta said that it is clear this kind of outdoor sale cannot rival normal weekend sales figures.
"It is definitely a setback on the business side of things, while I believe it was the right call to make. Something needs to be done to rein in this epidemic that is now utterly out of control," he said.
Gardening center Hortes also used its online store to accept orders, with customers able to pick up their goods by calling a number on the shop's door. The shop can only start selling Women's Day flowers on Monday and has decided to open at 7.30 a.m. instead of the usual time of 10 a.m.
"We learned that we would have to close the center a few days ago. We will take the weather into account moving forward as we mostly sell plants and need to make sure the temperature is suitable," said Riina Ruus, head of marketing for Hortes.
Hortes is also making preparations for opening an outdoor sales area. Gardening enthusiasts mostly buy seeds and transplanting goods around this time of year.
Editor: Marcus Turovski