LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Holiday shopping will look very different this year as many shoppers plan to cut back on in-store purchases.
"It's a challenge for everybody,” said Gina Richey, owner of Mrs. Polka Dot’s Monogramming and Gift Shop.
Usually, this time of year business for Richey’s store in Hillcrest is starting to boom. Shoppers are typically out looking for something unique.
But with COVID-19 on the rise, small-businesses are taking extra safety precautions.
At Mrs. Polka Dot's, they've limited customer capacity to three people.
"I'm also doing appointments only, so for people who don't feel comfortable coming in, they can do the appointment-only time."
The challenges have become even more difficult.
Many shoppers plan to shift their money online, and so small business are forced to make changes to keep up with large retailers like Amazon, Walmart and Target, or else they fear they'll lose the economic boost they were hoping for.
"I was very worried when this first happened,” said Richey.
But Richey said she’s keeping up, and hope customers do too.
She said her shop now offers curbside pickup and delivery, FaceTime showings and sales of products, and she’s beefed up the store’s website to attract more business.
"I spent several days while we were closed working on the website, adding inventory, adding the monogramming, which was not easy,” said Richey.
Richey believes if Arkansans choose to take advantage of local businesses this holiday season, the busiest time of year, it could give them hope beyond the pandemic.
"There is an end, and we will see that eventually, just believe this Christmas season,” said Richey.
According to a CBS News report, experts said consumers are cutting spending too.
Over 50% of shoppers expect to spend less than they did last year.