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Downtown San Luis Obispo business owners prepare for post-Christmas returns

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Posted at 9:02 PM, Dec 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-27 00:02:42-05

December 26th is usually the biggest day for people to return gifts they received on Christmas, but in the era of gift cards, this year might not be as busy for local stores.

Passport clothing business owner, Chris Limon spent Saturday greeting customers and preparing shipping orders for his post-Christmas customers.

“It's been good, it is gift card (and) Visa MasterCard time, so everyone is coming out showing their support,” he said.

Limon's store sits in downtown San Luis Obispo. He says amid the pandemic, he was thankful to receive community support.

“A lot of people were coming in and saying hey we want to see you come out of [the pandemic]. We want to see you continue to thrive past this," Limon said.

This year he says online sales have helped expand his business. He estimates that during the holiday season his store made between 300-400 online sales.

“Last Christmas I didn’t sell anything on Christmas night, but last night we got 30 online orders," he said.

According to Ware2Go.com, 31% of Americans intend to shop within a few days after the holidays. The UPS backed provider says another 34% plan to shop within the month of January.

Apropos Clothing store owner, Natalie Risner said it is still early to say how post-Christmas shopping will be looking for her store this year, but gift certificates have been a hot item.

“After the holiday, we have lots of exchanges and returns and also we have had a lot of gift certificate purchases so people will be coming in to redeem those,” Risner said.

Risner says amid many changes, she is also thankful for the community support.

“I have heard a lot of people say they feel really good about coming in and shopping in a locally owned business because it keeps the money here in our community so I feel really encouraged and grateful. I hope to be here for many years," she said.

For some people, the Christmas shopping is only just beginning.

“I am doing some last minute shopping for people that I am not going to see for awhile, (I) have some time to finish that up after Christmas,” downtown shopper Bella Gerencser said.

The San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce and the City of San Luis Obispo have also teamed up to provide a "Buy Local Bonus" initiative. If you spend $100 at a qualified SLO city business, you can earn a $20 gift certificate to another local business.

For more information on the program you can click here.