Hardware stores in Northeast Trinidad experienced a steady flow of customers as they were allowed to reopen for business on Monday.
Manager of Authentic Builders General Hardware on O'Mara Road, Arima, Harry Harrinarine, said the flow of customers had been steady since they opened.
"Customers have been coming in pretty steadily. A lot of PVC fittings, more toiletry fittings and toiletry selling.
“For the three weeks hardware stores were closed, people were in problems with that, because even when we were closed we were getting umpteen calls with that, if we could help them, just a few fittings they want. If we had home by us we would give them, no charge, just to help out the people."
At R Maye Hardware and Super Centre at Arouca Junction, manager Debbie Ramlochan said while less than 50 people turned up, they were happy the hardwares were open.
"We didn't have a large crowd, and we had people social distancing, washing their hands, sanitising, and wearing their masks. We had two or three at a time, maximum five at a time. People were buying things like plumbing fittings, pipes, solvent, thread seal, wall plugs. We don’t have cement blocks or steel. They did ask about cement but we don’t have any.
Bhagwansingh's at Piarco was bustling with people who came out for various household items. The parking lot was full with more people arriving by the minute.
Customers came out for all types of things from paint to decorative items, locks, fencing, tiles, bulbs, fans, and more. Some people left with one or two items, while others had whole trolley-loads of goods.
One shopper said the hardware stores should have remained open throughout the period of the lockdown. He said the three days the stores are being allowed to open during the week is not enough.
“When you cut down on the time, people will come out in droves. If people have access to purchasing what they need at the stores, they will keep themselves occupied at home.”
Shopper Dharam Ramchun said reopening the hardware stores was a good idea because people could carry out small projects at home for themselves.
“I don’t think doing things at home for yourself means you have big construction taking place.
Effective Monday, hardware stores were allowed to reopen Mondays and Wednesdays from 8 am to 4 pm, Fridays from 8 am to 2 pm and Saturdays from 8 am to 12 pm.