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Hundreds of people line up for roller skates at the Pigeon Roller Skate Shop in Long Beach

By on July 22, 2020 0

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) – Hundreds of people lined up at 6 a.m. in Long Beach last week – some even sleeping at night – to get their hands on a hot commodity during this pandemic: roller skates .

“The demand for roller skates during the pandemic has increased,” said Shayna “Pigeon” Meikle, owner of Pigeon’s Roller Skates Shop on Retro Row in Long Beach.

Just months before the pandemic, Meikle moved her store, formerly known as the Moxi Roller Skate Shop, to a larger storefront on Fourth Street.

“We had doubled our staff to accommodate the larger crowds and then once the coronavirus hit we had to close our doors,” Meikle said. “A week later, basically everyone decided they wanted to roller skate.”

After temporarily putting its staff on leave, Meikle rehired its employees, and then some in order to meet consumer demand.

“Our phones were ringing all the time, so I had to hire someone to come in here, hang out and answer the phone for hours and hours,” Meikle said.

Originally, Meikle planned to reopen her store on July 20. Once she saw COVID-19 cases increase, she knew it wasn’t possible.

Instead, Pigeon’s Roller Skate Shop opened for a flash sale on Thursday, July 16.

“We sold almost everything on the first day, then, whatever was left, we sold on the second day,” Meikle said. “Then we had to close our doors.”

Meikle hopes the growing popularity of rollerblading on social media will shed light on the history of skate culture.

“Social media has really made roller skating popular right now during this pandemic, but roller skating has always been popular in rinks and especially for the black community,” Meikle said. “A lot of those skaters that were in the rink are now coming out and becoming more visible on social media and really presenting themselves as the founders of the skating community today.”

Going forward, Meikle has stated that she does not plan to open her store, located at 2148 E. 4th St in Long Beach, until the end of 2020.

“I kind of self-classified us as a level four store, just like a salon or a gym, because we’re so close and personal to trying on skates, gear, and helmets,” he said. said Meikle. “We’re really going to have to continue to focus on online sales as much as possible.”

For more information, visit the Pigeon’s Roller Skate Shop website.

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