BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Local consignment shops hope Small Business Saturday could give them a boost.
Paloma Exchange, a thrift store on Grant St., opened only a few months before the initial lockdown.
“We’ve definitely been a little bit busier, especially this week," said owner Marissa Bona. "I’m not sure if it has to do with holiday shopping, or people knowing that there’s a potential another shutdown coming, and wanting to really support small businesses right now.”
At Second Chic on Elmwood Avenue, manager Dakota Follis-Ziarko said the store had half of its typical Black Friday business.
“We always do better on small business Saturday, obviously, and I feel like a lot of more people are trying to shop small this year too just because of the pandemic, but yeah it’s a little bit quieter definitely,” said Follis-Ziarko.
According to a WalletHub holiday shopping survey, nearly one in three people are foregoing gifts this year. Bona said thrift stores are an affordable alternative.
“Most of our inventory is under $20, so it tends to be pretty reasonable, even if you want to get a whole outfit,” Bona said.
Nationally, online second-hand retailers have done well during the pandemic. Paloma Exchange got its site up and running right when the pandemic hit.
“It’s definitely helped," Bona said. "Even on slow days when people are staying home, we’re still able to do stuff on our website.”
Since reopening, both stores have changed the process of accepting clothes to appointment only.
“We open our appointments, to be fair, to everybody on the first of the month, and then it's in ten minute intervals," Follis-Ziarko said. "So that people can come in, we can pay attention to them, go through their things, and then people can keep moving and everyone has enough space."
Both stores have expanded hours this Saturday.