AUSTIN (KXAN) — Despite the ever-growing competition from online retail, Austin shoppers headed out to brick-and-mortar stores Tuesday. Many shoppers made exchanges and others found that it pays to look locally for post-holiday deals.
At Breed & Company’s 29th Street location, many shoppers were in search of now-discounted holiday supplies.
“It’s always really, really, really, really busy into the holidays, we get lines that go way down into the hardware section,” said Charlotte Thompson, a cashier at Breed & Company. Thompson was inspired to work in the store because it’s where her mother would shop during the holidays.
Thompson believes the time after Christmas and before New Years is the ideal time to get deals on holiday supplies.
She explained the prevalence of online shopping has impacted how people shop in the store, she notices people on their phones comparing prices with Amazon.
“Somebody came in and bought some grill stuff and informed me, ‘This is so much cheaper than anything that I could find online, and you should tell people that!'” Thompson said.
“You find one-of-a-kind things here, you can’t replicate that in an online experience,” said Suzanne Zanot who went shopping at Breed & Company with her daughters Tuesday. She found several deals on wrapping paper and ornaments.
Zanot said she likes the tangible experience of shopping in a store. Her daughters added that while they shop online for certain items, they prefer shopping at local stores when it comes to looking at things like decor or unique gifts.
“I hope in spite of the weather, I hope people get out and take advantage of the deals that are available in the Austin area. We need to get out there and support [local businesses] between now and next holiday season, not just during that Christmas rush,” said Zanot, who has been shopping at Breed & Company for a decade.
Back at the cash register, Thompson said she is aware that many shoppers, especially younger shoppers, overlook shopping local or shopping in person.
“And now with more brick-and-mortar places going out of business in favor of online places, it’s now more of an issue of can we even compete?” she said.
But Thompson does believe that local businesses will be able to compete, she hopes that shoppers consider the value of making the extra trip to a local store.
According to the Austin Independent Business Alliance, of every $100 you spend at a local business, $45 stays in Austin — compare that to a chain store, every $100 spent only $13 remains in Austin.