Small businesses hopeful a push to ‘shop local’ will help keep them afloat this holiday season

Updated: Nov. 29, 2020 at 12:15 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii’s small businesses says they desperately need a boost this holiday season. And many are dialing up their online presence in a bid to get them there.

Although in-store sales at Manuhealii were down this Black Friday, sales associate Kayla Nakamura said online sales have skyrocketed by nearly 40%. The family-owned business expects a rise in sales throughout the holiday season, and Nakamura said it’s local shoppers keeping them afloat.

“The customers will make an appointment and then we’ll do virtual shopping with them through Instagram, so they don’t have to come into the store as well as doing phone orders,” said Nakamura.

Debbie AhChick-Hopkins, co-owner of Global Village in Kailua, said sales have dropped by about 70%.

She said it was like starting all over again after the second shutdown back in August, adding that some of the city’s restrictions have driven some customers away.

“By having capacity limits, some people aren’t willing to wait in line so they’ll you know take off [and] go somewhere else,” said AhChick-Hopkins.

But AhChick-Hopkins is looking to forward to Christmas shoppers in hopes of feeling some normalcy.

“Even though we’ve had to adapt to online shopping and private shopping I think that’s what made it successful is that face to face contact,” said AhChick-Hopkins.

Although Michele Beginski, at Under a Hula Moon in Kailua, doesn’t have the capabilities to take her merchandise online she is offering private shopping appointments.

“Definitely reduced the amount of things that more tourists might be attracted to and really try to hone in on what the locals are looking for,” said Beginski.

Beginshki said she had a line of shoppers Saturday morning, which is a sight she’s been waiting for.

“And then when people come in and buy you just feel like, we can do this, it gives you just kind of an extra boost of confidence I think,” said Beginski.

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