GREEN BAY (NBC26) — After shutting down for months at the start of the pandemic, holiday shopping is reviving some local businesses, like Sav-Half Greeting Cards & Gifts.
“I think it connects with people in a special way," said Colleen Demler, owner of Sav-Half. "I’m gonna pop this letter in the mail, I’m thinking about you, here’s what’s been going on with me.”
Sav-half closed their doors for a little over two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This really hurt them, said Demler.
“I don’t think we’re gonna get that back, honestly," she said. "It was lost inventory, it was lost time.”
The gift boutique had to close its New London store, one of five in the small chain, including two Green Bay locations, an Appleton store and a shop in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. They turned that loss into an opportunity to remodel and repaint the other shops, and it feels good to be open now, said Demler.
“We’ve grown a lot as far as how we reach our customers," she said. "But I think the best way still is when they come in and we can help them personally with their needs.”
“Everybody’s away and I just buy Christmas cards for them," said one customer named Jerry. "Each granddaughter, grandson, I pick out something that would fit them. I think it’s more personal. I really do.”
People are shopping early this year; Sav-half has already had to restock on Christmas cards, said Demler.
“We are hopeful that it continues because I think people are really making an effort to shop small, shop local, and I hope they continue to do that everywhere," she said. "I hear lots of times, 'I’m so glad you’re open, I’m so glad you’re here, please stay open.' So we’re going to keep going.”