Pierre Nahed, the owner of Brooke & Co. Jewelry in Shelby Township, said he plans to stretch out his Black Friday sales for a full week, so shoppers don’t have to rush to the store on a single day.

Pierre Nahed, the owner of Brooke & Co. Jewelry in Shelby Township, said he plans to stretch out his Black Friday sales for a full week, so shoppers don’t have to rush to the store on a single day.

Photo by Deb Jacques


It’s beginning to look — kinda — like Christmas

Holiday shopping gets safety makeover with COVID-19

By: Tiffany Esshaki | C&G Newspapers | Published November 18, 2020

METRO DETROIT — COVID-19 has taken a lot of celebrations away from us this season. Will it take out the season of giving, too?

Not if retailers have a say in the matter.

Small businesses around metro Detroit are making safety tweaks and adding some extra treats to their usual holiday sales routine to make sure the only thing they’re spreading to customers is yuletide cheer.

Usually at this time of year, Pierre Nahed, the owner of Brooke & Co. Jewelry in Shelby Township, would be putting the final touches on his annual Christmas party for customers — and a ladies’ night event, too.

“This year, it’s totally different. We’re going to lose out on that, so it’s very strange,” Nahed said.

The parties were a great way to bring clients in, show them a good time and give them some great discounts on popular gift items. But social distancing has scrapped those opportunities.

Instead, Nahed said he’ll spread those discounts over the course of a few weeks to give shoppers a chance to buy the perfect item without packing into the shop for a crowded, one-day sale.

“Instead of Black Friday, we’ll probably do that whole week. And we’ll do a free gift with purchase, so when you buy something for a spouse, you can get a little something for yourself,” he explained. “And we’ll be doing home delivery, and of course we’re still doing curbside pickup. And if someone wants to make a private appointment to shop with peace of mind, we can do that.”

Over in Franklin, Deja Vu Upscale Designer Resale boutique is usually a hot spot for shoppers in need of the perfect holiday outfit. This year, owner Lisa Dunn said she’s come to accept the fact that there may not be many parties to dress up for this season.

“We know that people will be dressing down for the holidays, but some women are still wanting to look their best. When we look good, we feel good,” Dunn said of virtual celebrations. “We have lots of handbags and jewelry, which are huge for gift giving. Of course, we do gift wrapping.”

Dunn said the boutique, like so many others, is limiting how many shoppers are allowed inside at one time. With the help of the Oakland County Health Division, they’ve utilized personal protective equipment kits, so they’re well armed with masks, gloves and hand sanitizer.

Along with those standard safety precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19, Dunn said the store has been utilizing an antimicrobial spray for clothing, which is applied to garments between try-ons.

The biggest effort they’ve made, she said, would probably be keeping up the store’s inventory available online. Clients can buy online, have their items shipped and pick them up curbside or, within a 5-mile radius of the store, have their purchases delivered.

“A majority of our clientele feels comfortable with what we’ve been doing since we opened back up in June,” she said. “We’ve made a safe and also enjoyable atmosphere for shoppers and consigners.”