EconomyWatch: How businesses like Kindler's Jewelers innovated to stay open

Posted at 1:13 PM, Oct 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-06 14:56:26-04

CENTRAL TEXAS — The tug-o-war between health leaders and political leaders over the coronavirus and the economy comes down to finding a so-called "acceptable risk" to allow our economy to keep moving because, let's face it, the government only has so much of OUR tax money to pay us back in stimulus checks.

So today, 25 News looks at businesses that have adapted and even innovated to survive in these troubled times. And what better way to test the strength of the economy than by looking at some businesses the government deemed non-essential... but customers deemed VERY essential.

At first, some thought the coronavirus shutdown might spell the end to retail stores like Kinder's Jewelers. "We did shut down but we got frantic phone calls from our customers, they had an emergency, a jewelry emergency," said Gerta McGregor of Kinders.

People still expected to mark special occasions with a special gift and Kinders had forged such a strong bond with its customers over the years, they refused to go anywhere else. What could Kindlers' do? "You have to be smart," said McGregor.

Kindlers got smart and resourceful. "through phone and pictures we kept on selling and even though we couldn't sell out of the store we made arrangements to meet them at their home or at a public place," McGregor explained.

Becoming the basis for the Governor's "Retail to go" plan that got stores open again. Experts say retail businesses have fared pretty well in this slow recovery mostly due to the fact that a lot of us got cooped up in our homes too long unable to buy much of anything.

Now we can, helping bring other businesses back too.

"The comeback has not brought us all the way back to where we were. But nonetheless, you're seeing some good things happening primarily because of diversity of the region," explained, Dr. Ray Perryman, Economist, President & CEO The Perryman Group.

Kindlers says, things seem a little better every day. "The economy is still soft, however, we can see improvements every week," McGregor observed.

Why? because apparently our lives demand it, and in Texas, none of us want to give up OUR lives to a virus.

"People are still gonna get married, they're still having babies, they're still having an anniversary, and even in those times that we're living right now, it's very important to, yeah, we're never gonna forget 2020, but then we also have a piece of jewelry to make us feel like all is good and all will be good again," said McGregor.

Texans seem to vote with their pocketbooks, that it will.