Boutique owner says holiday returns can hurt small businesses, unlike big box stores

Nation & World News

CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46) — You may be looking to return or exchange a gift you got for Christmas, but know that could hurt small businesses.

Jekia Benson opened Five13Studio during Labor Weekend. It’s a boutique in South End that sells clothes and accessories for women. Benson saw high sales before Christmas and hopes to keep items from being returned.

“We welcome you to bring an item back, to exchange it if needed but we also ask that you be mindful that unlike some of these big box stores small businesses are directly impacted,” Benson said. “Thankfully sales have been increasing and steady here. I mean I think that people have been very mindful of shopping small.”

It was a challenge for Benson to open her business during the pandemic but said the experiences has been rewarding. She said the success of her store, especially during the pandemic, is because of customer’s and the community rallying around it.

“At that time it was really new, we didn’t know what to expect but these days we are kind of learning to live with what it means to be in a pandemic,” Benson said. “Thankfully we don’t see a lot of returns because as a small business we put customer service first.”

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