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Restaurants, retailers look to holiday weekend to recover loss

Marketing expert says providing a ‘fun experience’ will boost customer confidence
Posted at 7:26 AM, May 24, 2020

Memorial Day weekend is looking very different from past years as South Florida continues to reopen.

Many restaurants and retailers have said they’re hoping to recover costs during the holiday after closing for nearly two months during the pandemic.

Even though restaurants and retailers statewide are still limited to 50% capacity, marketing experts encourage businesses to stay optimistic.

“Retail establishments have to be functional but the first three letters of functional are ‘fun’,” said Dr. Lawrence Burgee, professor of marketing at Palm Beach Atlantic University. "It’s got to be a fun experience or shoppers are not going to want to come back.”

The Consignment Exchange in Boca Raton understands that improving customer confidence is an important aspect of reopening.

"We’ve been here for 20 years and we’ve had people shopping with us for 20 years,” said Robert Mejia, manager of The Consignment Exchange. “We have people that just come and say hello. It’s kind of like a family thing.”

Mejia added that a personalized customer experience is a critical component for retail stores to succeed.

“We’re starting to see [shoppers] trickle in a little bit. I know it’s going to take a little time,” said Mejia.

The CDC continues to advise that the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

Health officials also say everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public.