By Jensen, Randy on April 20, 2020.
While trying to keep their own local business afloat during the COVID-19 shutdown of non-essential services, Games Galore Lethbridge is helping keep residents entertained with games and puzzles with curbside pickup and home delivery options.
Since the beginning of social distancing and closures, Games Galore has worked at adapting through the different measures taken by the provincial and federal governments. Once owner Pat Carroll was forced to close his doors to the public, he looked at alternatives to keep his employees working and the public busy during isolation. Although Carroll had to close his Medicine Hat location for medical concerns, he is happy to continue the service in Lethbridge.
“When the government first started rolling out the restrictions we were creating social distancing, had reduced hours, provided gloves in store, and we did that for a week. Then the government of Alberta put out the closure of all non-essentials and at that time we talked it over amongst the staff, we decided that we would attempt curbside pickup and home delivery in Lethbridge,” says Carroll. “Everybody at the store has offered to work voluntarily, we try to keep them employed for as long as we can.”
While the store remains quiet, with no one besides staff wandering the aisles helping customers over the phone, Carroll says business has been busy as many people are looking for activities to do by themselves or with family.
“In our particular case, we are lucky that we have a selection of merchandise that is well requested at this time while everyone is cooped up,” says Carroll. “Jigsaw puzzles are a big thing right now. They are very popular, some board games, paint-by-numbers, darts, just some things that you can do at home with family or by yourself.”
The alternative business route was a learning curve for the Games Galore staff, but Carroll says isolation has made the process more personal as they have to spend more time with clients over the phone to find the exact fit for what they are looking to bring home.
“Doing business this way is a different experience, but I think it is good experience for people here at the store,” says Carroll. “It takes a little bit more work to do business this way. We try to cater to people because if someone wants a jigsaw puzzle, in the store at the moment we have about 1,800 different pictures, so we have to figure out an interest group and how many pieces, so each call takes longer than someone walking through the store, but there is a bit of a personal touch here with this which is good for the staff and people appreciate that we are spending some time with them to get them what they would like to have at home.”
Games Galore is located in Park Place Mall and is only delivering purchased items through the back doors of the mall, or by home delivery for orders over $50. They are open from Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. and are only accepting credit card payments to limit the interactions with the public for staff members. For more information or to see a selection of what they have, visit gamesgalore.ca or call (403) 320-9780.
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