BURLINGTON, Vt. (WFFF) — Many local stores are depending on online sales to help them get through these tough times.
Slate is an upscale home and lifestyle boutique on Church Street in Burlington. Owner Sarah Phaneuf said they have seen a decrease in people coming into the store, but their website sales have taken off.
“That’s partially because we have put a lot more into it, and people are shopping online,” Phaneuf said. The store has sales almost every weekend and offers curbside pickup. If you shop in person, the store is taking precautions to make sure everyone is safe.
“People want to go out, they want to shop, they still want the experience, they want it to feel like a holiday and we can still offer that in a really safe way we feel,” Phaneuf said.
Phaneuf said it’s more important than ever to shop local. “Without the retailer and the restaurants, the people won’t come and it will be a ghost town and none of us want Burlington or any of our towns to turn into ghosts towns,” she said.
The general manager at Jess Boutique, Erin Brennan, said they use Instagram to help promote their sales, especially for this holiday season. “We go through any new merchandise we show, we have some people model it, we offer it for sale,” Brennan said.
Brennan also said social media has played a key role in helping their store. “It has made it possible for us to remain open and stay in business which is really important,” she said.
On Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, the store is 25% off and that will extend through the weekend. They’ll have a live sale on Friday if people feel more comfortable shopping from home.
“If you can avoid shopping with Amazon or other big box stores, local businesses really need that support this year,” Brennan said.
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