The past month brought a glimmer of hope for Idaho retailers moving forward. May 1st marked the beginning of Idaho’s Stage 1 of reopening, with many non-essential retailers being allowed to open their doors for the first time in over a month. Stage 2 of reopening began May 16th – allowing for another wave of business owners to open –including dine-in restaurants, salons, and fitness centers. Stage 3 began last week, on May 30th, as most remaining retailers – such as bars and movie theaters – were able to open their doors. Although shopping, entertainment, and services may look different as retailers must still adhere to business protocols – the buzz of excitement is in the air.
However, some retailers weren’t able to withstand the economic toll COVID-19 has taken. 36th Street Garden Center in North Boise announced its permanent closure. Additionally, many national chains that were struggling pre-COVID, have recently announced bankruptcy – with some like Pier 1 and Gordmans closing all stores across the country.
National retailers continue to look at the Treasure Valley for expansion. Astro Gallery of Gems is on track to open their first Northwest location at The Village at Meridian this summer. Likewise, the strong housing market and in-migration remains a draw for out-of-market businesses despite the national pandemic.