Sign Of Times: Pawn Trade Brisk

Jennifer Keiper
April 08, 2020 - 7:28 pm
pawn shop sign

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A sign of how the economy is doing can often been seen at a pawn shop, and one owner says he’s been busy.

Unemployed people have been lining up outside of the Royal Pawn Shop in downtown Chicago, says owner Randy Cohen. 

“They have no cash now,” he told WBBM Newsradio’s Jennifer Keiper Wednesday.

During the coronavirus-related shutdown, Cohen said he’s been going into the shop to primarily make loans and help people get their stuff out of pawn. 

One transaction involved a dental bridge. 

"Last week, a guy brought a bridge in with diamonds in it," Cohen said. "He made a loan out of it."

The customer later reclaimed the item, he said.

Cohen said he’s concerned about the safety of going to work because he has underlying health conditions. He’s also worried about employees, some of whom are relatives.

The store's operating hours have been shortened.