Making Adjustments to Serve Customers

04/27/2020
NEWS BRIEFS
Free drive-through COVID-19 testing in Archuleta County for everyone at the Archuleta Integrated Healthcare clinic, Tuesdays from 12pm to 4:30pm by appointment only. Call 970-264-2104, June 2nd through August 25th, sjbpublichealth.org
Durango Public Library’s Summer Reading Programs run June 10 to Aug 1. Register online DurangoGov.org/library, call 970.375.3380 or email reference@DurangoGov.org
LPC Humane Society Thrift Store open, lpchumanesociety.org
SJBPH requires restaurants and camps to complete an infection prevention checklist and self-certify, sjbpublichealth.org
SJBPH is offering prioritized COVID-19 worksite testing, contact Tracie Holcomb at tholcomb@sjbpublichealth.org for more
as of 5pm, June 1 - Southwest Colorado confirmed COVID-19 cases by county: La Plata (81), Archuleta (8), Montezuma (46), Dolores (0), San Juan (1). Deaths due to Covid: Montezuma (2), Deaths among cases: LaPlata (1), Montezuma (1), sjbpublichealth.org, montezumacounty.org
Colorado COVID-19 totals: 26,577 cases, 1,458 deaths among cases, 1,185 deaths due to COVID-19, 4,372 hospitalized, 188,069 tested, 282 outbreaks, colorado.gov

Joel Krueger, owner of Kroeger’s Ace Hardware, talks about the changes the Durango commercial landmark has had to make to continue serving customers. Good news: garden stuff will be available!

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I'M LAURIE SIGILLITO, OWNER OFFASTSIGNS AND THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK. I'M, I'M SPEAKING TODAY WITHJOEL KRUEGER. ONE OF MY FAVORITE STORES TO VISIT IS KROEGER'S ACEHARDWARE, WHICH HE HAS BEEN A LONGTIME MANAGER OF IT, AND I BELIEVEACTUALLY CELEBRATING THEIR 90TH, 99TH ANNIVERSARY THIS YEAR. IS THATRIGHT JOE?

NINETY-NINE YEARS IN BUSINESS, NOTMINE. NOT MINE. I'M NOT QUITE THAT OLD. BUT NEXT YEAR IN APRIL, WEHAVE OUR 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF SERVING THE FOUR CORNERS AREA. YES,THAT'S RIGHT.

WELL THAT'S AMAZING. WELL, I KNOW YOUHAVEN'T BEEN HERE IN 99 YEARS, BUT IN THE TIME YOU HAVE BEEN THERE,HAVE YOU EVER EXPERIENCED ANYTHING THAT'S GOING ON IN TODAY'SECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT?

NO. YOU KNOW, EVEN DURING THE FIRESBACK IN THE EARLY, IN 2002, 2003 AND THE DROUGHT AND THE DOWNTURN IN2008, NO, NOTHING LIKE WHAT WE'RE SEEING NOW. I MEAN, I'VE NEVER SEENANYTHING LIKE THIS. EVEN IN MY NON-ACE WORK. JUST A TOTAL SHUTDOWN.IT FEELS ALMOST LIKE WE'RE IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY BECAUSE OF ALL THE,YOU KNOW, ALL THE FORCED CLOSURES AND STUFF. BUT, FORCED IS PROBABLYA BAD WORD, NECESSARY CLOSURES TO KEEP PEOPLE SAFE. SO,  NO, NEVERANYTHING LIKE THIS AT ALL. SO, BUT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN GREAT ANDEVERYBODY'S BEEN REAL RESPECTFUL AND ALL, OF THE RULES SO THAT, THATHELPS A BUNCH.

WELL THAT, THAT'S INTERESTING 'CAUSE NOW YOUHAVE BEEN OPEN THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE PERIOD. HAVE YOU HAD TO DO MUCHTO ADAPT YOUR BUSINESS TO THESE CHANGES?

WELL, OTHER THANWE'VE HAD TO GO THROUGH IT AND PUT THE LITTLE TAPE ON THE FLOOR WHEREYOU HAVE TO KEEP THE 6 FEET APART. AND WE'VE BROUGHT A LOT OFDISINFECTANT PRODUCTS IN, INITIALLY, AND STILL USING THOSE NOW. WEDID, WE DID NOTICE THAT THERE'S A DEFINITE BUYING HABIT CHANGEBETWEEN OUR CUSTOMERS, WHAT THEY WERE BUYING BEFORE AND WHAT THEY'REBUYING NOW OTHER THAN AT THE FIRST TWO WEEKS. BUT WHEN EVERYBODY WASLOOKING FOR MASKS AND GLOVES AND, AND SANITIZER AND WHATEVER ELSETHEY COULD GET THEIR HANDS ON. AND THAT'S BEEN A STRUGGLE TO TRY TOGET THAT MERCHANDISE. BUT PROBABLY OUR NUMBER ONE INCREASED AREA HASBEEN GAMES AND PUZZLES, BELIEVE IT OR NOT. I THINK PARENTS ARESTAYING HOME WITH THEIR KIDS. OBVIOUSLY FAMILIES ARE STAYING HOME ANDTHEY NEED ACTIVITIES AND THE WEATHER HASN'T BEEN GREAT UNTIL NOW. SOWE'VE BEEN SELLING AN AWFUL LOT OF PUZZLES

GAMES. I WOULDNEVER, I NEVER HAVE THOUGHT THAT. THAT'S REALLY COOL. WELL WITH THESPRING COMING ON, ARE YOU STILL PLANNING TO DO ALL YOUR FLOWERS ANDSTUFF OUT FRONT AND YOU'RE, ARE YOU SEEING A GROWTH THERE?

NO,ACTUALLY, WE ARE GOING WITH A DOWN-SIZED VERSION OF THAT. OUR GARDENSHOP ON THE PARKING LOT IS NOT GOING UP. I HAVE SPOKEN TO A FEW OFTHE LOCAL HEALTH AUTHORITIES AND IT'S SORT OF LIKE, YOU KNOW, THEY'RENOT GOING TO TELL US WE CAN'T, BECAUSE WE ARE ESSENTIAL BUSINESS, ANDIT'S, AND IT'S NOT EXACTLY AN ESSENTIAL PRODUCT OTHER THAN MAYBE THEVEGETABLES, BUT WE PUT A SMALLER VERSION IN FRONT OF THE STORE. WE DOHAVE BEDDING PLANTS. WE DO HAVE VEGETABLES, WE DO HAVE SOILS. SO WEHAVE OUR DOWN-SIZED VERSION OF IT. SO THERE'S NO WAY WE'RE GONNA BEABLE TO, TO MAKE THE NUMBER FOR DID LAST YEAR. AND THEN OUR JOB HASHELPED. YEAH. I LOVE THE FLOWERS THOUGH. SO IT MAKES IT FEEL BETTER.THAT'S ALL GOOD.

YEAH. YEAH. THAT'S GREAT. WELL, DO YOU HAVEANY WORDS OF WISDOM TO SHARE WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS AND THE COMMUNITY ATLARGE?

WELL, JUST FIRST OF ALL, WE REALLY APPRECIATE THATTHEY'RE CONTINUING TO SHOP HERE AND CONTINUE TO, TO GET US, GET USTHROUGH THIS, GET ALL OF THE TOWNS THROUGH THIS. EVENTUALLY THEY'REGOING TO HAVE TO, WE'RE ALL GOING TO HAVE TO, TO SUPPORT THEBUSINESSES DOWNTOWN THAT WERE DEFINITELY HUGELY AFFECTED BY THISCAUSE WE'RE ALL. WE ALL LIVE HERE AND I WOULD HATE TO SEE ANY OF THEMGO AWAY BECAUSE OF IT. AND WE REALLY APPRECIATE AND ALSO ASK THATTHEY CONTINUE TO DO THIS. THE, THE SOCIAL SEPARATION TO A DEGREE, YOUKNOW, THAT, WHAT DO THEY CALL IT? THE, YEAH, YEAH, THE SIX FOOT RULE,AND WE'RE ALL WEARING MASKS NOW IN THE STORE WHEN WE'RE ENGAGINGCUSTOMERS OR EACH OTHER.SO JUST FOLLOW THE RULES AND I KNOW WE'LL GETTHROUGH THIS. RIGHT,

RIGHT. WELL, JOEL, THANK YOU FOR YOURTIME TODAY. I,  I LOOK FORWARD TO HEADING TO YOUR STORE. IT'S MYWEEKEND PLACE. I GO AND SPEND MONEY FOR SURE, EVERY, ALMOST EVERYWEEKEND. UNFORTUNATELY FOR ME, THAT'S HOW BAD. I KNOW.


THAT'S NOT BAD. WE DO HAVE, WE DO HAVEHANGING POTS, HANGING PLANTS, SO YOU MIGHT COME CHECK THAT OUT.


SO ABSOLUTELY. EVERY FRIDAY. OKAY. ALLRIGHT. WELL, THANK YOU JOEL. HAVE A GOOD REST OF YOUR WEEK AND WE'LLTALK TO YOU SOON.

ALL RIGHT, THANK YOU. BYE BYE. BYE. BYE.

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