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100 days until Christmas, local businesses say ditch online shopping and stop in instead

It may have been sunny summer day Thursday in Geneseo, Illinois. But business owners says they are thinking holidays already.

GENESEO, Ill. — The countdown is on for holiday shopping with just 100 days until Christmas as of Thursday, September 16th. Businesses in Geneseo have been planning for months and say you should plan to buy your holiday gifts earlier than normal this year.

"[We're] making sure we have our product in. Making sure we have quite a bit of it. We have probably two more shipments coming in for Christmas." said Diana Holbrook, owner of Designs on the Boulevard in Geneseo. If you think Diana is ahead of the game, consider this. 

"We started in January, planning for this year. Of course with last year being so crazy with the pandemic, it was very hard to know how much to buy." said Katie Kutsunis, owner of Pegasus Fine Gifts in Geneseo. 

Last year's holiday shopping was largely interrupted by the pandemic which left supply chain issues, and made planning for purchasing hard to nail down. This year businesses like Pegasus Fine Gifts and Designs on the Boulevard say they are still dealing with supply chain issues. Now the United States Postal Service is adding an additional fee on top of each package sent out. Some fees as high as $5.00 per package in certain cases. 

Katie Kutsunis says she believes it will have people ditching online shopping, and come down in person to shop. "It's a great opportunity for brick and mortar stores to provide beautiful product. You can go in, get instant gratification and pick out what you like." 

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But for business owners like Amy DeFauw, owner of Katsch Boutique in Geneseo, it's not so much the struggle of finding inventory to buy. They have been in planning mode since April and began buying materials in July for the holidays. "In general there are a lot of driver shortages so even if you have inventory made in the USA it's still hard to get that inventory to you." Said Amy DeFauw. 

Katsch Boutique brought out their holiday items early because they say they were worried about inventory shortages and supply chain issues.

The increased shipping with USPS won't impact Katsch Boutique shoppers because DeFauw says, "We have curbside pick up available for both our Geneseo and Davenport locations. We also ship for free for online orders over $70.00."

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