Roller skates become a hot commodity during the COVID pandemic

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Thursday, August 6, 2020
Roller skates are back in fashion!
Hundreds lined up at Pigeon's Roller Skate Shop, store sells out after just two days.

LOS ANGELES -- Hundreds of people lined up - some even sleeping overnight - to get their hands on a hot commodity during this pandemic: roller skates.

"The demand for roller skates during the pandemic has surged," said Shayna "Pigeon" Meikle, owner of Pigeon's Roller Skates Shop on Retro Row in Long Beach, CA.

Just months before the pandemic hit, Meikle moved her shop, formerly known as Moxi Roller Skate Shop, to a larger storefront.

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

After temporarily furloughing her staff, Meikle hired back her employees and then some in order to accommodate the demand from consumers.

"Our phones were ringing off the hook so I had to hire someone to come in here and hang out and answer the phone for hours and hours on end," Meikle said.

Originally, Meikle planned to reopen her store on July 20. Once she saw COVID-19 cases on the rise, she knew that was not possible. Instead, Pigeon's Roller Skate Shop opened its doors for a flash sale on Thursday, July 16.

"We sold out of almost everything on day one and then, whatever was left, we sold out in day two," Meikle said. "Then we had to close our doors."

Meikle hopes the increased popularity of roller skating on social media will shed a light on the history of skate culture.