Raleigh, NC (WTVD) — With the holiday season sale rush over, small businesses are recapturing both the pros and cons presented by 2022.
“2021 has been a record year, which has trickled down into the first half of 2022. There is no doubt that customers are much more comfortable returning to the store to shop,” said Voda. Owner Kayla Brewer-Cheek said. North Hills boutique.
A North Carolina graduate, Brewer Cheek worked at Berg before opening a store in downtown Raleigh in 2017.
“For the first two-and-a-half years, I had to be really creative, nimble, nimble, witty. That’s why,” she said. she explained.
Brewer-Cheek said moving from his original location to North Hills in 2019 had made a big difference, and he feared he might go out of business if a new space didn’t open. She said she was able to take advantage of the increased traffic before the 2020 pandemic-induced lockdown.
“I am very grateful that our online store is up and running. From the very beginning our customers got a lot of their customers through social media and having a website was also a great tool for us to keep the light on said Brewer-Cheek.
Brewer-Cheek said the initial struggles she encountered helped her prepare for the ups and downs caused by the pandemic, and she continues to take a hands-on approach to all sectors of her business.
“When someone is happy with what they’re wearing, it oozes out of their confidence level,” she said.
Overall sales are up this year, but the holiday season, a key part of the final quarter of the year, is down compared to 2021.
“The cost of living has gone up, so what clothes you might not necessarily need, or jewelry or accessories, or whatever we offer here at Voda, go and spend when an egg is $4 when used. It’s very hard to justify, at $1.99,” explained Brewer-Cheek.
Rising wholesale rates for her products forced her to raise prices. This is another barrier small businesses face as they work to serve consumers.
“If anything, it was projected to continue at the same scale as it was at the end of 2021, so it’s a little overstocked, but that’s not the case,” Brewer-Cheek noted.
Brewer-Cheek is offering discounts to other retailers to make room, too, with manufacturer and trade inventories up almost 17% in October from a year earlier, according to a U.S. Department of Commerce report this month. .
“When I was planning to launch the business, I never expected the economy to go down. It has a really big impact on what your company is, what your company will be, how you’re going to change. Something has gone wrong,” added Casey Klugman, who launched eyewear company Les Mons in April.
Klugman, currently the sole employee, partnered with a marketing firm to increase buzz and awareness.
“When it comes to retailers, my B2B business is walking around New York City with suitcases and collections, going from store to store and seeing if anyone is interested in the collection,” Klugman says. explained.
He finds success with social media pushes, noting that web traffic will increase if the campaign is in progress. Understanding consumer habits and what works and what doesn’t is a learning experience.
“I’m a designer by day and an artist by day,” Klugman said, expressing his excitement about gaining experience in all aspects of running a company.
Brick-and-mortar visits provided an opportunity to gain direct feedback and increase sales as we learned more about consumer habits.
“If you’re talking to opticians and buyers who know their eyewear well and are willing to put it in store with other reputable brands, that’s a very good sign,” says Klugman. says Mr.
October was his best month, although sales declined in November before picking up in the last few weeks. He hopes to carry that momentum forward into 2023 as he celebrates his one year anniversary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20% of companies fail.
“It’s hard to get through that storm. There are a lot of ups and downs. I think you have to celebrate the little victories. When you’ve had a good week, you have to be really happy about it,” Klugman said.
He is committed to growing his business and has pledged to donate a portion of his profits to Mental Health America with the goal of ending stigma.
“I’ve had friends, family, mentors in my life, people who’ve dealt with mental health issues, and at some point I wasn’t in the best headspace. Because it’s not something you can see all the time. Probably,” Klugman said, adding that more brands are making an effort to emphasize their social mission.
According to the National Retail Federation, November sales were up 6.5% year-on-year, although they were down slightly from October. December results he will submit in January.
According to a report released earlier this month by the National Federation of Retailers and Appriss Retail, the average return was flat at 16.5%.
“Timing will be key. Many stores change their return policies over the holidays, so you need to be up to date on them. Hmm, maybe 10 days, so make sure you fully understand the return policy before returning it,” said Nick Hill, Communications Specialist at the Better Business Bureau. .
Certain products and stores only offer store credit, not returns to the original payment method. Be sure to keep your receipt for the items you purchased.
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