Smaller businesses thrive, filling empty spaces at Gateway Mall
Locally owned boutiques are filling empty spaces at Gateway Mall after many chain stores closed because of the impact of COVID–19.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Locally owned boutiques are filling empty spaces at Gateway Mall after many chain stores closed because of the impact of COVID–19.
As the pandemic affects businesses across the country you may see fewer chains and more local stores.
“You just kinda go into survival mode,” says Theresa Gosh, a manager.
At Gateway Mall, local and regional stores are reopening. Theresa Gosh helps her sister run Triple Blessed Boutique and says there is strength in being local during these times. Their boutique recently expanded and moved to where Justice previously was in the mall.
“The entire mall shut down,” said Gosh. “And being family-owned, we kind of maneuvered around what we could to help the store survive. So we came back!”
A new regional store, Bling Glamour Lincoln opened this month and its manager says Lincolnites are the perfect customer base.
“They are very accepting here and since it was the Hot Topic here before us,” says Lexi Rychlec. “We’re so blessed to have things going the way they have been going in the midst of a pandemic.”
Gosh says they are adjusting their products to cater to a younger crowd that is more likely to go out as older shoppers tend to buy online during the pandemic.
“We’re kind of grabbing the preteens (clothing) we do small through 3 XL,” says Gosh. “Now, not everything we can get up in the plus sizes. So whatever we can, we grab and we can bring in.”
Other new stores like Chic and Burgundy Cosmetics can be found at Gateway.
“We just focus solely on our customer service and just being consistent with what we do,” says Rychlec. “Doing what we know has kept us going and I think that’s what people come back for is that personal touch.”
These store managers tell Channel 8 that shopping locally is what helps each small store stay afloat.