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Three small businesses weigh in on the pandemic holiday season

Jan 4, 2021
Marketplace has been following three American small businesses during this unprecedented holiday retail season. Here's how things went.
The quiet interior of Carr Mill Mall in Carrboro, North Carolina, where Ali Cat Toys is located.
Irene Kesselman

Holiday sales grow by 3%, a much bigger jump than during the last recession

Dec 28, 2020
The 2008 recession hit more broadly, and retailers were stuck with a lot of inventory. This time, retailers had time to plan.
Holiday shoppers make a last-minute trip to department stores in Manhattan on Dec. 24 in New York City.
Scott Heins/Getty Images

Consumer confidence lackluster as the pandemic continues

Dec 23, 2020
Even with the rollout of vaccinations and federal action on a relief package, many consumers are wary about the future.
Even with positive news about vaccinations, most of the news about the economy and COVID-spread has been downbeat lately.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Shipping delays cause problems for small retailers

Dec 22, 2020
We’re expecting record online sales this holiday season, and shippers are having a hard time keeping up.
Postal workers sort, load and deliver mail outside a USPS location in Los Angeles, California, in August.
Kyle Grillot/AFP via Getty Images

For small retailers, COVID-19 is changing business, but to what extent?

Dec 16, 2020
It might depend on what is sold and where it's sold. We check in with three business owners to see how things look in the middle of the holiday shopping season.
Shoppers carry bags from Macy's department store in New York on Black Friday, Nov. 27.
Kna Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

How we shop for the holidays is different this year

Dec 16, 2020
People are shopping online more, buying gifts for fewer people — and in some cases, changing up what they usually give.
Laurie Dieffembacq/AFP via Getty Images

Retail sales fell 1.1% in November, biggest drop in 7 months

Dec 16, 2020
It's a sign Americans held back on spending during the start of the holiday shopping season.
Customers wear face masks while waiting in line to shop inside a Best Buy store on Black Friday in Hawthorne, Calif., on Nov. 27, 2020.
Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

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How a Seattle retailer hopes to navigate an uncertain holiday season

Dec 3, 2020
Sales estimates are all over the place. Small business owners are hoping to ride out the uncertainty.
 Tom Butcher, right, and Cindy Reichel, left, co-owners of Patchwerks in Seattle. The four-year-old store and online business specializes in synthesizers and other electronic music instruments.
Image provided by Tom Butcher

Vaccine, gift delivery intensify holiday shipping rush

Dec 3, 2020
Delivery giants like DHL Express have prepared for a unique workload by adding to their aviation fleets.
Package-delivery companies like DHL Express are under even more pressure this holiday season to not only get gifts where they need to go but also vaccines to people around the world. (Photo by Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP)        (Photo credit should read TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP via Getty Images)

"All the pandemic has done is shine a horrifyingly clear spotlight on every inequality in our community. And my community is the book community."

Dec 1, 2020
Independent bookseller Hannah Oliver Depp is struggling with suppliers in her mission to tell the stories of struggling people.
Loyalty Books, which centers the stories of people of color and queer people.
Courtesy of Hannah Oliver Depp