Edmundston businesses are slowly recovering from total containment and the red phase decreed at the start of the year. Acadie Nouvelle went to meet them on Tuesday.
Customers don’t rush to the doors. The queues do not overflow to the outside as they do in front of some giants in Moncton.
Nevertheless, the city of Edmundston has started to come to life again since the return to the yellow phase, about three weeks ago.
The traffic is denser, the cars are multiplying in the parking lots of gyms and restaurants.
Many would have returned to their habit, whether it was shopping on Saturday or going out for a beer on Thursday evening.
The easing of restrictions is good for everyone, certainly, but especially for traders who can now re-envision a semblance of normalcy.
At the Fashionista boutique by Douceur de Nuit, the recovery would be good, but gradual.
“There are a lot more people who come from the yellow phase,” said Angela Deveau Dubé, the manager.
“I think the sun for sure helped people out. But I also think they were more on edge during the red phase. Several even thought that we were closed. ”
Since the complete reopening of the clothing and lingerie store, a little more than half of the usual customers have responded.
Ms. Deveau Dubé guesses that the rest prefer to continue to avoid non-essential travel, still shaken by the violence of the outbreaks in the area.
“We had not yet experienced that in Edmundston. In our beautiful little corner of New Brunswick, things were going well. And all of a sudden, we were almost more infected than in Montreal, all things considered. The world no longer knew what to think. They were really scared (…). We saw the city transform. ”
On the side of Gym Sparta Progression, customers have also been extra cautious following the outbreaks.
Kim Roy, an employee, believes that the recent crisis has made many people aware of the region’s vulnerability.
“In the beginning, customers often had to be reminded, ‘Hey, put on your mask, be careful, social distancing.’ Some said: “Bin wayon, there is not even a case in Edmundston”. While there, they’re trying to be a lot more careful. They see that no region is immune to this. ”
The Sparta Progression gym has reportedly sold several subscriptions since its reopening, especially during the first two days of the yellow phase.
The new trend would be those of a month, proof that customers are just as careful in their purchases as their behavior.
“The turnover is going well, there are a lot of people,” says Ms. Roy, however.
Some clients who are older or with health problems would not have resumed training yet, but others would not have wasted a second.
The employee recalls that training is for many an essential tool to maintain mental balance.
Especially in the months leading up to the summer, she says, customers were eager to see the gym reopen and have been using it in large numbers since.
At the restaurant Pur et Simple, business has been going well lately.
The transition to the yellow phase, combined with the good weather and the spring break two weeks ago, gave the business a big boost after two weeks of closure and two more to do only take-out.
“It seems that people were tired of staying at home, there they go out, they are happy and we see that it really (increase) our turnover”, rejoices the manager, Brenda Dumont.
However, while navigating the recovery, the Edmundston restaurant suffered from a major labor shortage.
“In restaurants, when we close, people need to work and therefore find new jobs. When we reopen, we have to find new employees, ”explains Ms. Dumont.
At the same time, the manager considers that Pure and Simple customers also seem more concerned about COVID-19 since the outbreaks.
They are more likely to book, ask questions about sanitary rules and order take-out, she illustrated.
Patrick Lajoie, brewer at the Brasseurs du Petit-Sault, also testifies to a successful recovery, so gradual.
“The world was eager to come back. Even if there are a lot of rules (…) they respect them, ”he said.
Most Petit-Sault customers waited a few weeks before revisiting the microbrewery, at the start of the orange phase.
Mr. Lajoie believes that they had already regained confidence when the yellow phase arrived.
Her colleague, Marlène Albert, points out that delivery services remain the most popular despite the opening of the tasting room.
The Brewers of Petit-Sault would have precisely pulled out of the game during the total confinement and the red phase thanks to this alternative.