Joseph-Beth Booksellers busy on first day retail allowed to reopen

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- Wednesday non-essential retail stores were allowed to open their doors once again to the excitement of workers and shoppers.

On its first day back, disco played at Joseph-Beth in the Lexington Green shopping center.

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“I keep using the word excited, but we’re very pleased to be back. We’re doing very well and sold one of our biggest pieces today, so it’s been lovely,” Sara Hewlett, assistant general manager, said.

Hewlett says the store has been working for weeks to make sure customers and workers are safe inside the store.

“It’s been nice. It’s been not easy, but it’s been doable,” Hewlett said.

That difficult transition is expected to get easier. A little more than half of the store’s employees have returned, but it plans to bring back more as sales rise.

Sales have actually increased in some areas during shutdown through online shopping and curb-side pick-up.

“We have added a way better website to where people can order books. Even if they’re not fulfilled here, they help our company,” Hewlett said.

As busy as Wednesday was, Friday could be even busier for the store as its bistro will also open up.

“Joseph-Beth has been here since 1986 in Lexington. It’s a community spot, so it’s been lovely to hear the feedback from customers about how excited they are to come back,” Hewlett said.

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!