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Ways small shops shifting holiday sales amid COVID-19

Ways small shops shifting holiday sales amid COVID-19

Watty Brooks Hall, the owner of the Brooks Collection, plans to keep her iPhone charged and ready for more FaceTime calls this holiday season.

Her Collierville, Tennessee gift shop introduced virtual shopping for consumers who don’t feel comfortable coming inside but want to see the pottery, gifts and home goods up close. Hall also plans to post more photos on Instagram and Facebook where engagement has been up since the pandemic.

Texas-based Stag Provisions also is engaging more with shoppers on social media. It will also stock more comfortable clothes such as t-shirts and sweatpants this holiday season as people continue to spend a lot of time at home. 

And Gibson’s Bookstore, New Hampshire’s oldest independent book shop established in 1898, hopes to drive online sales with its new curbside pickup option.

Small retailers across the country have had to get creative to keep the lights on after dealing with temporary closures and restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic. Now they’re preparing for a holiday shopping season unlike any they have ever experienced.

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National retailers are amping up the pressure with earlier promotions to spread through the season, but small stores may benefit because of their size and ability to personalize the shopping experience.

“We deliver. We ship. We do curbside,” Hall said, adding her shop near Memphis doesn’t sell merchandise on its website. “It’s just trying to keep a small business alive is what it boils down to.”

COVID-19 relief needed: Your favorite restaurant or small business – as many as 36,000 – face closure without coronavirus relief

Small business advice: Not all business changes need to be big, sometimes a good pivot is small, thoughtful and consistent

The Brooks Collection introduced virtual shopping

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Shops and bars face closure as Boris confirms new ‘traffic light’ system

Shops and bars face closure as Boris confirms new ‘traffic light’ system

Watch: Boris Johnson announces a new ‘traffic light’ COVID-19 alert system

Pubs and bars in Liverpool face closure from Wednesday, after UK prime minister Boris Johnson announced tougher new restrictions to tackle the the COVID-19 second wave.

Johnson on Monday confirmed a new three tier “traffic light” system of local restrictions. Speaking in parliament on Monday afternoon, Johnson said the new alert levels would “simplify and standardise” the existing patchwork of local lockdown rules.

Each level — “medium,” “high,” and “very high” — involves escalating restrictions. Most areas in England will automatically move to the “medium” alert level, the prime minister said. This involves restricting people to socialising in groups of no more than six and a 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants.

Under the “very high” alert level, pubs and bars will be ordered shut. Local leaders will also have discretionary powers to order other non-essential businesses to close.

The prime minister confirmed Merseyside would be placed in the “very high” alert level from Wednesday. Pubs, bars, gyms, leisure centres, casinos, and betting shops will be among the businesses told to shut.

Prime minister Boris Johnson making a statement in the House of Commons in London, setting out a new three-tier system of controls for coronavirus in England. Photo: PA

Over 1,400 businesses in Liverpool will be hit by the changes, according to analysis of official government data by the real estate adviser Altus Group.

Johnson said he took “no pleasure whatsoever” announcing further restrictions on businesses but said the measures were necessary “to save lives.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus: UK hospitality industry to take legal action against lockdown rules

The new “traffic light” system of restrictions, as they have been dubbed, come in response to a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in the UK. New cases have risen

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