Ross Reopening May 2020
Shoppers wait in line on Wednesday afternoon to get inside the Ross Dress for Less store in Maricopa. The store was having a reopening sale. Photo by Bob McGovern

The sale was on Wednesday at Ross Dress for Less and shoppers waited in line for close to an hour to get inside for the bargains.

They would wait again for the chance to get back outside with their goods.

“My mom said they had opened and there was a big sale today,” said Jenny Gomez, 39, of Maricopa, standing with her mother, Julie Gomez, on the sidewalk outside the retail store. “So we decided to come check it out.”

About 1:45 p.m., the Gomezes were last in a line of about 40 shoppers waiting to get through the front doors. They were nonplussed about the 45-minute wait ahead, about half of which would be spent under the midday sun.

The crowd at the reopening sale was no mystery to them.

“People have been cooped up,” said Jenny, who admitted they shopped often at Ross before the pandemic.

With dozens of cars in the parking lot, store security was letting shoppers inside only as others came out. About half of those in line outside wore coverings over their faces. Some practiced social distancing, while others didn’t seem to care.

Dresses that typically cost $30 were selling for $3 to $6. Chaise lounges were discounted by about 66%.

Inside, shoppers queued up with their purchases – some with multiple carts – funneled into one of eight-or-so cash registers. It was about another 40 minutes from getting in line to paying for merchandise.

Brian Davis, 39, of Maricopa, was standing in line outside to kill time while he waited for his wife’s car to be tinted. But he did have a goal: new shoes.

“There is nowhere to buy them,” he said.

He had already waited about 20 minutes, and had at least that long to reach the doors, but the New Jersey transplant exuded a coolness and patience that befitted his military training as a member of the National Guard.

“I’m used to waiting,” he said. “I stand in a line until it goes away.”

Kylia Simmons, 17, was waiting in line for two.

Eleven weeks pregnant, she passed the time outside so she could buy clothes – roomier clothes – inside.

“My stomach is starting to grow,” she said with a smile.

A big Ross fan who has missed shopping there the past two months, Simmons said she wasn’t that worried about staying safe out in public.

Like many other retail stores deemed non-essential, Ross shuttered its doors in March when Gov. Doug Ducey declared a stay at home order to stem the spread of coronavirus. Wednesday was its official reopening.

The store, which opened in July 2018 at 20595 N. John Wayne Parkway in the Edison Pointe shopping center, is open all week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.