'We're going to take a real hit': Independent stores forced to quickly adjust to online sales
REGINA -- Some southern Saskatchewan stores have had to quickly adjust to an online world, after the Government of Saskatchewan ordered all non-essential businesses to close.
Clothes Encounter has been in the community of Moose Jaw for more than four decades and now is offering its customers online shopping.
The locally owner clothing store has a social media presence but did not have a website that allowed customers to view products and purchase them.
“To stay a float and to stay alive, I think you have to,” Andrea Amiot of Clothes Encounter said. "I think its going to be the hardest on all small business owners."
The store admits changing to an online platform to do business has been an adjustment.
“If you’ve shopped at our store, we write up your bill on a piece of paper with pen. That probably won’t still change for a while,” Amiot said.
Jocelyn Froehlich is a family friend of Clothes Encounter and created the website for the store because she said she didn’t want to see her friend’s business suffer during the pandemic.
“I hate to see my friends struggle in this time and it is actually really heartbreaking,” Froehlich said. "The last thing I want to see is somebody close their doors so if there was anything I could do for them I wanted to do that for them."
Becky’s Place in Fort Qu’Appelle is an Indigenous themed arts, crafts and fabric store. It too has been adapting and adjusting its business with sales through social media that can be picked up at the curb.
“I always post in new fabric that we get that I know our customers will like so we’re advertising that way,” Marla Desnomie, Co-owner, Becky’s Place said. "People that have been in our store usually know what they want."
But even with the new changes to the way Becky’s Place sells products, the owners are worried about the future of their business.
“Our customers, they prefer to be inside the store, and this is where we’re going to take a real hit,” Claude Desnomie the Co-owner, Becky’s Place said.
"I expect we are probably going to lose about 90-95 per cent of our monthly sales and this is going to impact us big."