Inside 704 Shop. Photo courtesy of Christopher Moxley

For 704 Shop co-owner Christopher Moxley, Black Friday will be an opportunity to recoup revenue lost during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Black Friday signals the beginning of the holiday shopping season. It’s the biggest shopping day of the year for 704 Shop and the majority of retailers, Moxley said. But with Covid-19 affecting 2020’s bottom line, Black Friday will be a way for Moxley and co-owners Scott Wooten and Jerri Shephard to continue to boost sales after a three-month store closure from March through mid-June. 

According to the National Retail Federation, holiday sales during November and December will increase between 3.6% and 5.2% over 2019 totaling between $755.3 billion and $766.7 billion. 

For the second consecutive year, Moxley said the South End storefront will be closed on Black Friday because of possible capacity issues. Last year, the owners recognized they wouldn’t be able to service customers quickly. This year, Covid-19 restrictions and safety guidelines forced their hand. 

“We know that we have such loyal supporters, and that’s a great thing, but it would be a very bad look to have our store packed full of people,” Moxley told QCity Metro. 

Gov. Roy Cooper announced an executive order Monday that holds businesses more accountable for adhering to the 50% capacity limit and enforcing the face covering mandate. 

[Related: Gov. Cooper extends mask mandate, declares NC ‘in danger’ as Covid-19 cases increase]

Although the physical location will be closed Friday, it will reopen Saturday as South End also kicks off its Small Business Saturday campaign.

Encouraging online shopping

Rather than shopping in person, Moxley encourages people to shop online, not just on Black Friday but all year long. When the shop reopened in June, the guys incentivized online customers by offering free shipping on all purchases. 

“It’s obviously a cost for us to absorb the shipping, but we would rather put peoples’ health and safety over our bottom line,” Moxley said. “Our priority, first and foremost, is for people to stay safe and for us to create a safe environment for our employees as well.”

Inside 704 Shop. Photo courtesy of Christopher Moxley

In a recent survey of 1,500 U.S. consumers, 61% of respondents said they plan to minimize in-store shopping to reduce health risks to essential workers, according to findings by consulting firm Accenture.

Moxley said the reduction of in-store traffic has led to businesses releasing deals ahead of the shopping holiday. For 704 Shop, its deals begin at midnight on Friday. Starting Dec. 1, the shop will kick off “12 days of 704,” with a new item dropping every day for 12 days. 

Canceled events affecting revenue

The cancellation of the Southern Christmas Show due to the pandemic also affected 704 Shop’s in-person sales. The event, which was scheduled Nov. 12 through Nov. 22, annually attracts upward of 150,000 people. 

704 Shop has sold clothing and merchandise at the holiday event since the business launched in 2013. Moxley said the cancellation puts more of an emphasis on Black Friday. 

“Hopefully, some of the folks who would have normally shopped with us during the Southern Christmas Show, or other in-person opportunities, will gravitate to us for Black Friday,” he said.

Visit 704 Shop online at 704shop.com or in store at 1616 Camden Rd., Suite 140.

Jonathan is a former QCity Metro reporter who covered Charlotte neighborhoods north of uptown. He also reported on education, public safety and health.

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