Pawn shops, local bicycle stores thriving during the pandemic

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– While a lot of businesses are struggling to survive due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting stay-at-home order, two industries appear to be thriving.

Pawn Shops

The owner of Circle City Pawn said he isn’t issuing as many loans as he expected, rather, he is selling so much that certain items are now out of stock.

“It’s hard to keep up with the demand,” Jay Justice, the owner, said. “You go from a family that has one laptop in the home, with three kids, now you need four. They had to purchase that type of equipment.”

Justice said people are also shopping for entertainment options.

“Now you have three kids fighting over one video game system, so what a lot of folks did is they decided to buy a second or sometimes even a third,” Justice explained.

Circle City sold out of video games and consoles, laptops and desktop computers and tablets.

Justice said people are stopping in just to browse, too.

“There is this want to feel normal,” he said. “I want to feel normal. I want to go out and buy something. I want to do something. I think there is a lot of that going on. We get a lot of folks walking in because we’re open and then end up buying something because it makes them feel normal.”

Justice said people are flocking to pawn shops because they can purchase items at a cheaper price. In some cases, he is able to offer products $60-75 less than big box stores.

Pawn shops are deemed ‘essential’ because they are considered financial institutions.

“We’re a lender,” Justice pointed out. “We’re deemed essential because of the socioeconomic that we serve.”

Justice said people that can’t get loans from the bank or apply for credit cards often turn to pawn shops for help.

Bike shops

Bike shops were deemed essential as well, since so many people rely on their bicycles as modes of transportation.

Scott Dunwoody owns DG Bicycles near 82nd and Westfield. He said he is doing just as many bike repairs and sales that he would in June.

I’m having to turn over investory a lot faster than I normall would,” he told CBS4.

While he isn’t selling as many bikes, he is selling parts like tubes and tires. A lot of people are trying to get their old bikes repaired.

“They’re trying to find something to do,” he said. “They’re riding to work and riding to the grocery store. That way, they’re not stuck in the car and they can get a little exercise.”

Dunwoody said while his business won’t be impacted, bicyclists may see a bike shortage in the coming months. Some of the biggest bicycle manufacturers are based in China and other Asian countries. Their plants are shut down. They are not producing bicycles and may face problems with shipping, too.

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