Small businesses strive to survive cybershopping trend

Local businesses play to strengths
Posted at 6:14 PM, Dec 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-12 18:14:51-05
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas on Bel Air's Main Street, but the holiday shoppers are few and far between.

"Online right now, they probably do about 80 percent," said Pat DeFabio of Bel Air.

Many businesses have come and gone over the years, but Boyd and Fulford Drugs survives.

Eugene Street has owned the place for decades, but he first started working there during World War II when he was 14 years old.

"We are the last remaining original business that was here," Streett said, "When I started working here, most people didn't know where Bel Air was."

Streett said for every sale made on the internet, it's one less sale for local businesses like his own, but he has built up decades’ worth of customer loyalty that gives his drugstore an edge.

"We are very fortunate to have very faithful families,” Streett said, “We're working on the third and fourth generation of the same families now, which is very, very thoughtful of them."

A block down at Tiny Toes children’s boutique, Karen Jacobs is also a survivor. She opened her shop 10 years ago.

"You definitely see more shoppers who are aware of what is online,” Jacobs said. “But there's a lot of people who either need something right away or just like to touch something particularly with children's items."

As important as the holiday season is to most retailers, Jacobs has another advantage.

"The great thing about babies is they're always a cause for celebration and they come every month of the year,” Jacobs said. “So we get lots of business year-round for showers, birthday parties and other special occasions."

Some of the larger brick and mortar chains have taken steps of their own to grab cyber shoppers--improving their shopping apps and launching mobile payment apps as well.

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