WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) — Health officials say there are not any cases of the coronavirus in Erie County, but it’s still affecting local businesses.
“We had a lot of phone calls about it. If you open the dress and it’s from China is it going to have this virus on it?” said Denise Cullinan.
Denise Cullinan has had to calm the fears of a lot of brides in the last few weeks. As the owner of Bridals by D in Williamsville, she says she’s been watching closely since the coronavirus first hit China in December.
She says many of the dresses in her shop are manufactured there.
“Luckily my brides are getting their dresses on time. Now I’m telling bridesmaids, I’m telling mothers that haven’t shopped yet, please shop now because you’re limited on time,” said Cullinan.
Cullinan says there have been concerns between bridal and prom dress shops as some warehouses overseas are closed to be disinfected. She says those may not reopen until the end of March. She says the coronavirus could affect dress production.
“It may not happen in one factory, it may happen in 3. The beading happens here, the dress production then it’s got to ship. The dress could be done and it’s stuck there,” said Cullinan.
And it’s not just dresses, sporting goods stores could also strike out.
“We deal with a lot of international vendors that deal with China a lot,” said Phil Primerano, general manager at Courtside Outfitters.
Primerano says many of his tennis raquets and other goods, even shoes, are made in China.
He says most stores order equipment 6 months to a year out.
“We’re looking at August, September, so I’m ordering more for fall right now. All of our summer orders are in,” said Primerano.
While Primerano says he hasn’t heard of any of his shipments being affected, that could change.
“We haven’t seen any ill affects right now but I’m sure if this persists, over the next 6 months we will start to see shipments getting delayed,” said Primerano.
Companies such as Ford and Apple have closed factories and retail locations in China. Supply chains have been disrupted.
Consumer experts say potentially the cost of tech goods, medicine and cars could go up as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.