Around this time of year, many people begin shopping for the holidays. This year, however, many businesses have made adjustments so that customers can feel more comfortable shopping.
Business owners say many customers are calling before they come into the store to make sure they have what they need or want.
Sue Wycoff, President of the Woolen Mill in Meadville, was FaceTiming a customer in Michigan on Monday and showing her some of the items at the store. Wycoff says this is one of the many adaptations they’ve made to make customers feel more comfortable and keep her business alive.
“We had not had a big social media presence. We had it but we hadn’t really worked hard at it. That was an opportunity for us to really start to really work on our online presence.” said Wycoff said.
Wycoff says in addition to expanding their social media presence and FaceTime shopping, they offer small group of friends the opportunity to come to the store for off-hours shopping.
Wycoff says that, despite all these modifications, it’s been a tough year.
“We’re still behind for the year. There’s no way for a small business to make that up, there just isn’t.” Wycoff said.
The manager at another local business says they’ve been busy this holiday season, taking calls from customers who want to make sure they have what they need.
“We have had a lot more calls to have us check and see if we have a style of something or brand of something and ask us to hold them, or we do ship.” said Diana Householder, store manager at the Boot Box.
Householder adding the support of the community has meant everything this year.
“We’ve had a lot of people tell us they would rather come to us and support local rather than to order online and that’s made a huge difference to us. It’s meant a lot to us that they would rather do that.” Householder said.
The store manager adding that there has been a delay with some items being back ordered. However, she says that customers have been very understanding and patient this year.