[Posted December 4, 2020]
This year’s holiday season could have been the latest victim of the pandemic, but local merchants are making the best of the situation and local shoppers are showing up to support them.
Portland Camera Service owner Jayesunn Krump is seeing a lot of support for small stores. “People are choosing to support small business, where they can get one-on-one attention and unique products that the titans like the Amazons and Walmarts just don’t offer.” Tina Donnaloia at Hoot-N-Annie Resale Boutique agrees, adding “People are going out of their way to support small businesses when they can instead of automatically going to Amazon.”
Back in March many businesses scrambled to build online stores, perfect their sanitizing routines, amp up their social media game, and develop curbside shopping procedures. Now they’re throwing all the new tricks they learned over the past few months at the holiday shopping season. Purchases can be made at many local shops over the phone, in-person, online, via social media apps, with curbside transactions and shipping available. Krump says, “We are keeping an eye on every means of communication we have: telephone, email, social media, our website.”
As a consignment shop, Donnaloia’s business relies on a two-way relationship with her customers, who she says have been very responsive to her social media posts requesting particular inventory items that are big sellers this time of year: toys and books.
With the complications of gift-giving during COVID and restrictions on gatherings taking parties off the list of holiday activities this year, gift certificates are predicted to be among the most-welcome presents this year. Picking out camera equipment is highly personal, “like shopping for a pair of shoes,” says Krump, so he finds that gift certificates are the most popular gift items he sells. They can also be used for the photography classes that will start up in his shop next year as soon as pandemic restrictions allow.
To keep shopping fun, the Golden Ticket is back again this year: through December 31, when you make a minimum purchase at a participating business in Hillsdale or Multnomah Village you will receive a Golden Ticket, redeemable for special offers at other participating merchants.
Paloma Clothing’s Mike Roach is hoping for no snow or ice until the new year. “As far as things we have control over, we will keep working to make the store as safe as possible for customers and staff, but it would be great if the weather could be kind to us retailers this year.”
How will the pandemic change your gift-giving this year? Let us know.