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Pawn shops in North Alabama notice increase in sales during coronavirus restrictions

We found out pawn shop sales have seen serious uptick in sales due to coronavirus outbreak.

Posted: Apr 30, 2020 7:56 PM

Across the country pawn shop owners reported a bump in business from people buying and selling items during the pandemic.

WAAY-31 spoke with a pawn shop manager in Decatur about what changes he's seen and how he plans to re-open parts of his store.

At Mid City Pawn Shop in Decatur, the manager told us guns, gaming systems and computers have been top sellers.

He told us they've taken precautions during the stay at home order and will keep social distancing measures in place for the time being.

"We closed off all but the pawn entrance area and we plexi-glassed it and we do intensive cleaning everyday. We continue to service our customers," said Howard Godbee.

Howard Godbee is the store manager for Mid City Pawn Shop in Decatur.

He told us they're considered an essential business so they stayed open during the stay at home order.

But Godbee closed their showroom to add in UV air filters to kill airborne viruses and added plexiglass all around the store.

Even with limited store space, he told us sales have been through the roof.

"Mainly because we're getting a lot of people who are ready to buy when they come in because the showroom is closed so there's not people who are just kind of walking around trying to decide," said Godbee.

Retail stores are allowed to open Thursday night as part of the safer at home order.

Godbee told WAAY-31 he's ready to handle the overflow now that his whole store can be open.

He told us they stocked up on ammo and other items heavily just before the coronavirus outbreak started, so he's prepared for a rush.

"Being the first of the month and at the same time you open up plus new stimulus checks, it's probably going to be very busy," he said.

The manager told us customers have only had access to certain parts of the store over the past few weeks.

But Friday they'll reopen their showroom and keep plexiglass up to protect their customers and also their employees.

Several pawn shop owners told us once more people come, they'll ask customers to wear masks indoors and possibly still limit amount of people inside at a time until health regulations become more relaxed.

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