Another Way to Shop ReStore

Creating a safe environment for staff, customers, and partner families became the ReStore’s top priority as soon as the pandemic started. Weeks of hard work went into creating a routine of sanitization that went beyond standard cleaning practices, building special screens and barriers, setting up hand sanitizer stations, and developing practices for no-contact drop offs and deliveries.

“I made everybody set timers on their phones to where they had to wash their hands every hour,” said Nikita Newell, lead salesperson with the New Orleans ReStore.

But the biggest change was the creation of an online version of the two stores. The stores had gotten a major donation from the True Value convention just weeks before the pandemic hit, and the entire stock had to be reorganized and merchandized for the online store.

“Nobody [on the team] had done an online store before,” said Nikita. “We had to figure it all out. It was good, because it made us come together.”

According to Ashley Ridgley, lead salesperson at the Kenner store, “It was a lot of cleaning, a lot of prepping, a lot of organization. We had to go over that before even getting down to the nitty gritty.”

The “nitty gritty” meant selecting the items to be featured on the online stores. The first focus was cleaning supplies from the True Value donation. Since then, the focus has shifted back to the building materials, furniture, and appliances the ReStores are known for.

“It gives people a second option to shop,” Ashley said. “A lot of people are still uncertain about coming to public places, so at least they can still spend money from home in bed in their jam-jams.”
Often, customers will shop online, then come to the store to see more.

“It gives a lot of our customers insight on what it is we do and what we have in our store,” said Nikita. “They didn’t know that all our proceeds go towards building houses. Or they didn’t know we sold household goods and paintings and interior décor.”

“It’s fun,” she continued. “Because I’ve seen the faces of customers when they’re purchasing something when they feel they got a good deal on it. They feel so good about it. I love to see a smile on their face.”