Some people have started shopping for Christmas earlier this year due to the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, an Omagh business owner has claimed.
Barry Daly, who runs Kiddies Corner along with his brother, Conor, said they had been taking orders for Christmas from customers since August because of fears over another lockdown and also further worries about supplies running out.
But Mr Daly stressed that they had been reassured by their main suppliers that stock levels were good and they would be there on time. hile his shop stocks prams, cots and car seats for babies and toddlers, it also has plenty of toys for children up to eight or nine. Adapting to the ‘new normal’ of the Covid-19 pandemic, Kiddies Corner is now taking orders online as well as offering a private appointment service.
With only eight weeks to go until the big day, the Market House shop has also opened its Christmas Club. And Mr Daly believes that more people are heeding the messages and shopping locally for this festive season, adding that there has been a groundswell of support for local traders on social media. “People don’t want these shops to be empty,” he said.
Meanwhile, the owner of a well known toy shop in Omagh said he had embraced social media platforms during the pandemic to keep in touch with his local customers. Proving particularly popular for Ivor White, of White of Omagh on Bridge Street, are video clips of him walking around the shop floor and picking out new stock for Christmas and popular ranges throughout his store. Mr White urged customers to keep an eye on the likes of Facebook and Instagram and engage with the shop going forward.
As the impact of the pandemic continues to be felt, the Bridge Street shop is offering after-hours appointments for vulnerable people who might not want to enter the premises when it is open to other customers. Mr White added that he hoped people would support all local businesses during these uncertain times.