Online push for Black Friday shopping during COVID-19 pandemic has local small businesses adapting

Online push for Black Friday shopping during COVID-19 pandemic has local small businesses adapting.jpg
Posted at 6:47 PM, Nov 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-25 20:02:19-05

MADEIRA, Ohio — Honey on Main hasn't been open for long, but so far, co-owner Allyson Schumacher says sales are good for the small local clothing store located on Miami Avenue.

"We opened Labor Day weekend," Schumacher said. "I won't say we didn't enter into this a little bit nervous, and we've been very lucky that the community has supported us so tremendously and all of our expectations have been exceeded."

But going into this holiday weekend -- and the Black Friday shopping spree that traditionally comes with it -- Schumacher said they're not expecting throngs of shoppers. The National Retail Federation predicts most consumers will do Black Friday shopping this year online due to the COVID-19 pandemic surging through the region.

It leaves local retailers like Schumacher having to adapt. Her store will allow no more than five customers into the shop at a time, she said, with masks being mandatory and only one employee at a time handling payment. They'll even use a blue-light wand to scan items for germs before leaving the store.

"Our customers are mostly people that we know by name," Schumacher said. "We want them to be happy, and we want them to be healthy. We want them to know that we care about their well-being and that, if they come here, they're coming into a safe environment."

Safe or not, the NRF said the shift toward online shopping favors big chain companies and puts small businesses like Schumacher's at risk of not meeting their bottom line this holiday season.

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