TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - This could be a record-breaking year for holiday spending, and a big part of that comes from this year's Black Friday sales.
Lili Pad Unique Gifts and Apparel is just one of many local businesses preparing for a busy day of Black Friday shopping. But running a small business like this one is no easy task, especially during a global supply chain shortage.
"You see empty racks, and whenever I am shopping, you know it’s scary,” Christine Niemeyer, the owner of The Lili Pad, said. “You wonder, 'are they going out of business or are they having issues that they can't buy anything or it may just be they are having a shipping shortage.'”
Christine Niemeyer opened this boutique a few years ago at the Meadows Shopping mall in Terre Haute. Now she's working to keep her store fully stocked during a potentially record-breaking Black Friday shopping day.
"I hear about so many [people] scrambling,” she said. “I hear the horror stories about how they can't get this or that in [stock].”
But Niemeyer says she's lucky she got ahead when she did.
"I was one of the few that really realized I had some great distributors this summer that were already telling me there were going to be supply shortages. I already knew that there were some issues, so I made sure I shopped early. It makes me very blessed and very happy. I can come to work and not have that fret.”
Despite not seeing as many issues with the supply chain shortages, Niemeyer is still seeing the lasting impact of the pandemic, something she hopes will change this holiday shopping season.
" I'm hoping now that more people are getting together with family or they're traveling or, you know, I think we are going to have an influx of people that are coming in to this town to visit friends and family that they didn't feel like they could last year, because it was still a little to new [from the pandemic],” she said. “I think we are going to have an even bigger year this year."
And this Black Friday, Niemeyer's one hope for the community is to prioritize shopping locally.
"You can order online and hope you get it in, but it's so impersonal. “I am hoping that more people want to have that personal experience. That's why I love it that people can come, shop local, support local businesses, then you have it, and you have that peace of mind that it is under your Christmas tree without worrying about supply shortages.”
This boutique is just one of dozens throughout the Wabash Valley for you to check out this Black Friday!