Local Businesses and COVID-19: Groove


Inside 'Groove' on Elm Street.

For today’s Q&A with a local business, we hear from Judi Anders, store manager at Groove, a clothing, accessories and gift shop that opened three years ago on Elm Street. Groove is open for curbside pickup or local delivery, and the store is staffed 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Here’s our exchange.

New Canaanite: How are you doing at Groove?

Judi Anders, store manager at Groove.

Judi Anders: I will tell you some background because that helps. Groove in New Canaan is a household name, especially with the kids. Every day after school you will find 10 kids in Groove trying on clothes, buying candy, toys, gadgets, hanging out on our couch. So that is the piece that is missing right now. Like everybody else, we pride ourselves on our customer service on our fully stocked store, carrying up-to-date trendy merchandise. So Groove is about the shopping experience you encounter when you walk through our doors. We are very customer service-oriented. We know all our regular customers as they have become our family. We know their kids’ names, ages, styles, clothing preferences. So that is how we are in our normal worlds. And now, like everyone else, we are conducting businesses behind the scenes. I am taking phone orders, pictures, FaceTime calls and we are offering local deliveries and curbside pick-ups. 

Inside ‘Groove’ on Elm Street.

So how are you doing?

Well, we are doing the best we can. We are just doing business behind the scenes. So it’s not the same experience, but we are all in this together and we are just trying to maintain happy for kids and families in this uncertainty. 

What is your sense at this point of Groove’s ability to outlast the crisis, given that we do not know how long these restrictions will be place?

We are here. We are here to fulfill the needs of our community. We are just a phone call away. 

Inside ‘Groove’ on Elm Street.

Do you want to say anything about your sense now of Groove’s prospects for outlasting this difficult time?

I just want people to know we are here to fulfill their needs. We are taking things each day and like I say, we are all in this together and we will do the best we can.

What has the community response been like?

Thus far it has been great. They have all been very supportive. We have ben busy. We filled a lot of Easter baskets in the past week, for Easter. So hopefully we will continue to maintain that same level of business. 

Inside ‘Groove’ on Elm Street.

What have been your consistently most popular items?

Mostly things fo the kids to do. Puzzles, sidewalk chalk, games and cozy clothes. Fuzzy PJs, sweatpants.

What is your message for customers?

It’s basically that we are here to fulfill all of your needs and we are just a phone call away.

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