LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Many Southland residents are seeking out the comfort of small business shopping as holiday sales continue.
“At a small business, they make the customer feel special,” said shopper Jon Clemmons.
Jon Clemmons shops locally to support his entrepreneurial friends who have been struggling because of the pandemic.
“I have a lot of friends who have small businesses in L.A. and due to the lockdown, many of them have lost a lot of money, had to lay off a lot of workers,” Clemmons said.
Chevalier’s Books in Larchmont Village, established in 1940, was seeing better sales on Saturday than it has during much of the pandemic slowdown.
Sales got so bad that the book store sent a letter to customers last month asking for help.
“Up until that point, our sales had plummeted maybe 40% to 50% percent,” said Theresa Phung of Chevalier’s Books. “After we sent that letter, people showed up and bought books over the phone or came in if they could.
One of the biggest keys to survival has been adapting to shopping habits, so like other places, Chevalier’s offers mobile and online sales.
As a small business, they can also give a more personal touch, which is a perk for local shoppers.
“We get a lot of customers who come in and say I need something for a 5-year-old. And we do the detective work for them and find out how to find that perfect book,” Phung said.
L.A. City Councilman Mitch O’Ferrell recently toured and shopped at several small businesses around his district hoping to encourage local shopping.
“When you do that, 75% of the funding that circulates, when you shop locally, stays within the community,” O’Ferrell said. “It’s so important.”
There may be a bit of a wait if you shop at some of these small businesses since capacity is limited. In some cases, it’s as few as six people.
Still, shoppers say it’s worth it to support owners who invest both in their business and the community.
The national retail federation predicts holiday sales will increase slightly over last year, and small business owners hope their independent shops will cash in on the extra spending.
Learn more about Chevalier’s Books by visiting chevaliersbooks.com.