Many Rochester retailers which were forced to close due to the pandemic are preparing to reopen. It's going to take some work, and it's going to mean some changes for shoppers.

What You Need To Know

  • Businesses like Record Archive were forced to closed months ago before being limited to curbside and delivery orders

  • Record Archive on Rockwood Street in Rochester hopes to be a part of Phase Two reopening later this month

  • Safety measures will be in place, such as hand sanitizer and lines on the ground for social distancing

  • Customers must wear a mask or they will not be allowed to enter

At Record Archive, March 17 was the day the music stopped — the day Vice President Alayna Alderman had to lay off her staff and temporarily shut down Rochester’s long-running music store.

“It’s just earth-shattering,” said Alderman. “We've been through tough times before, but this was incredibly challenging."

Once the state allowed them to resume, Alderman says online mail orders and curbside pickup have kept the lights on. That business, she says, has been steady.

“It’s given me hope through some dark days,” she said. “Because it’s really been an emotional roller coaster.”

The music store experience is a unique one — where customers often spend hours browsing through records and CD’s, touching just about everything. With retail stores getting ready to reopen, the key is to do it safely.

At Record Archive, hand sanitizer stations have already been placed throughout the store. In a nostalgic twist, adapters for 45 RPM records have been painted on the floor leading up to the cash register — six feet apart — marking off safe social distances for customers.

“We are taking this very seriously,” said Alderman. “Because it's about protecting my staff and protecting my customers.”

To that end, everyone entering the store will be required to wear a mask. Alderman says she will provide one to any customer who doesn’t have one. If they refuse, they cannot enter.

Alderman says the store will be in the second phase of retail reopenings. She’s hoping it can happen by the end of the month.

Live music and events in the store’s backroom lounge will have to wait. Employees are rearranging the space to ensure social distancing during shows and at the room’s beer and wine bar. Alderman hopes they can return before the end of summer.

Rules and expectations for retail business owners remain somewhat of a moving target. Alderman admits she doesn’t fully know what reopening will look like. But she can’t wait for the day the music can start — again.

“We’re going to approach it as best we can,” she said. “But I'm looking forward to getting us all back in action."