BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Small retailers across Massachusetts are adjusting hours, taking wares outside and buying hand sanitizer in bulk as the holiday shopping season gets underway during the pandemic.
Many local businesses were hoping to see a boost on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, traditionally known as Small Business Saturday or Shop Local Saturday. But they’re having to make adjustments, just as many big retailers did ahead of Black Friday.
Instead of one-day deals intended to lure large groups of shoppers, many retailers are spreading out their promotions throughout the holiday season, Retailers Association of Massachusetts President Jon Hurst told The Worcester Telegram & Gazette. Businesses are also offering more curbside and online sales.
Ellie Avery, owner of Avery & Company, a small gift shop in Chestnut Hill, says they quickly had to establish an online presence during the pandemic.
“We’ve been here for 15 years, just brick and mortar. So going online was completely different, but it’s been fun,” Avery said.
Shopper Layla Lamchabab said it’s important to support local businesses.
“I would say in a normal year I would mix small business shopping with Amazon and online purchases. But, it still makes a lot of sense to support the businesses,” said Lamchahab.
On top of the sales taking place at Miltons – The Store For Men, President and Owner Dana Katz also added pop up shops for women in his two stores.
“The beauty of it is that she can shop for him, and, at the same time, shop for herself. So it really makes for more convenient shopping for our customers,” Katz said.
At the Dudley Café in Nubian Square, a number of pop ups of local artists set up shop inside.
“The majority of their business came from the school department, and when they went remote they lost 90 % of their business. So they are trying to decide if they should stay open,” Cyndi Diggs said.
At Final Touch, Danny Hardaway hopes residents will spend more time shopping locally so money will filter back into the community.
“To give a section of fashion, upscale, upper class fashion, for the black community. So we are bringing it here making it easier for them to shop.” Hardaway said.
Retailers often rely on a spike in end-of-year sales to boost their bottom line. That will be especially important following business closures prompted by the pandemic earlier this year.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)