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Some central Ky. businesses thriving, but pandemic challenges still loom

Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 6:33 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - As COVID-19 cases surge, many store owners are worried about losing business. We found two stores in Lexington that are thriving, but that doesn’t come without pandemic challenges.

Those businesses say their numbers when it comes to sales are pretty good. But the pandemic is still causing issues with their planning, and their inventory.

Folks at those businesses say the only change they’ve noticed in their customers is more masks.

“As cases in the delta variant started to pick back up all of a sudden I started seeing more, like 20%, 30% and honestly within the past couple weeks it’s been closer to 60 to 80%,” said Andrew Hale with Howard Curry Shoes.

“I have customers that never stopped either but there was that break. When everybody kind of heaved a sigh of relief and couldn’t breathe freely again,” said Woody Deperna with J&H Outdoors.

But their business has changed. For Howard Curry Shoes, it was a last-minute rush just before schools opened.

“So right about the very last Sunday to Tuesday for Fayette County when school started that Wednesday to actually come in and get shoes and that’s when our numbers were highest,” Hale said.

For J&H Outdoors, it’s getting more of their products.

“There are really horrific supply chain issues right now related to both COVID outbreaks in Asia and also to transportation problems,” Deperna said.

So far they’ve been able to find alternate sources. But they’re also seeing rising prices as shipping containers become scarce. Those costs haven’t been passed on yet, but shoppers should still take notice.

“My advice to people is if you find what you want, whether it’s here at our store or someplace else, go ahead and get it,” Deperna said.

While these businesses had to deal with shutdowns earlier in the pandemic, Governor Beshear has said he doesn’t anticipate any future shutdowns, even if numbers surge because so many people are vaccinated.

Forbes is reporting that those shipping container issues could also cause a big headache when it comes to getting toys to stores in time for Christmas.

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