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Holiday shopping starts early as local businesses face uncertain future with COVID-19

You may have noticed empty store shelves at the grocery store as more people panic buy at the possibility of another shut down.

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But, it’s not just essential items like toilet paper and paper towels; local store owners are noticing more and more people shopping earlier for the holidays too.

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While Black Friday is typically the start of the holiday shopping season, April Desai of Burgundy Chic Boutique in Centerville said she’s had customers looking for Christmas gifts since mid-October.

“I’m usually last minute,” said Ben Meshulam who typically finishes his holiday shopping on Christmas Eve. “This year I’m going to try to get ahead of it this time, a lot of times you don’t have the selection,”

Desai said it’s a smart move, since once items sell out, there’s no guarantee she will be able to reorder.

“I’m having difficulty at times, wholesalers being able to restock items I’m purchasing so sometimes qualities are limited more than usual right now,” Desai said.

Under Gov. DeWine’s new order for retail stores, Desai must offer curbside pick-up at Burgundy Chic Boutique, but she’s finding more people are shopping online right now.

“They’re worried stores will close down, they want to make sure they have their gifts for family members,” Desai said.

Though DeWine has threatened to shut down restaurants, bars and fitness centers, he’s made no mention of shutting down malls, shopping centers or stores like Burgundy Chic Boutique ahead of the holiday shopping season.

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