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Minnesota retailers prepare for curbside pickup

Retail businesses and other non-critical businesses may begin offering curbside pickup on May 4 as long as they take safety precautions.

MINNEAPOLIS — Update: Since the story aired, The Electric Fetus has decided not to do curbside pickup at this time. In a statement, Meyerring said, "We want nothing more than to reopen and see our customers and community again, however due to many unforeseen factors, we feel it is best for the long term health of the company to maintain our current status."

Original story below: 

Starting Monday, up to 30,000 more Minnesotans could be heading back to work. On Thursday, Governor Tim Walz announced retail businesses and other non-critical businesses may begin offering curbside pickup on May 4 as long as they take safety precautions.

The Electric Fetus' record shops in Minneapolis and Duluth have been closed since March 17. They're now preparing for curbside pickup. 

"It's great to have that option to come pick it up now," said Aaron Meyerring, Electric Fetus co-owner. 

RELATED: Several small businesses say changes to stay-at-home order don't help them

Meyerring said they need some time to get plans in place, but curbside will start on May 6. While they have been doing online orders, this is a quicker option for local customers. 

"We have noticed the majority, like 73% of our online orders, have been from Minnesota customers and the majority of those are within a 5-mile radius from the store," Meyerring said. 

Credit: Heidi Wigdahl
Aaron Meyerring said they need some time to get everything in place but curbside will start on May 6.

Curbside does come with some challenges for retail shops that rely on the in-store experience. 

"A lot of the stuff that we have people don't know they want until they walk into the store. For example, used records. Everyone wants to look at the condition, they want to pick them up, feel them. So that's... it's going to be tough," Meyerring said. 

Twin Cities Sports Cards in Golden Valley is facing the same problem. 

"I've never done a lot in online sales and the reason is half the fun is for people to come in and actually see and touch the cards," Owner Rob Hunegs said. 

RELATED: MN photographer shines light on small businesses during COVID-19

Hunegs opened Twin Cities Sports Cards about seven years ago after his retirement. 

He'll start offering curbside pickup on May 4 for those interested in picking up supplies for storing cards. But he's holding off on selling cards through curbside. 

Credit: Heidi Wigdahl
Twin Cities Sports Cards will start offering curbside pickup on May 4 for those interested in picking up supplies for storing cards.

"There are a number of people touching them and there's no way to keep them really, really safe... I just feel strongly that better not to deal with cards right now even though that is the majority of our business. Matter of fact, it's probably about 90% of our business," Hunegs said. 

Even when the governor allows customers back inside shops, Hunegs said it won't be business as usual. When that time comes, he's considering setting things up by appointment. 

"I know of some people also that unfortunately have passed away from COVID-19 and so on a scale of one to 10, cards are probably a minus one," Hunegs said. 

Governor Walz said businesses that want to offer curbside pickup must adhere to the following: 

  • Develop and publicly post a plan for how to open safely.
  • Use online payment whenever possible.
  • Employees and customers should wear masks and protective equipment.
  • In curbside pick-up scenarios, social distancing guidelines apply. 
  • If possible, customers should not leave their vehicle.
  • In delivery scenarios, items should be deposited outside a customer's residence.
  • Minnesotans should also continue to telework whenever possible, wear face masks in public, screen for symptoms and regularly check their temperature, and maintain physical distance from each other.

Twin Cities Sports Cards has some items available online. Those interested in curbside pickup can call Huneg at (612) 872-6666. 

Electric Fetus starts curbside pickup on May 6. They will be doing curbside 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Orders can be done through the phone or website

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The state of Minnesota has set up a hotline for general questions about coronavirus at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903, available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.