Online shopping impacts local businesses in Reno

Terri Hull has owned Sippee's for the past three years. Sippee's is located at 955 South Virginia Street in Midtown.

Some local businesses say they feel the impact of Cyber Monday as the rate of online shopping soars.

Experts expect shoppers to spend $6.6 billion in sales on Cyber Monday this year.

"To do Cyber Monday for toys for a small brick and mortar business, I would have to have hundreds of the same item in order even to compete," said Terri Hull of children's store Sippee's in midtown Reno.

It's something she and many other local business owners can't afford to do. She said the personal shopping experience is getting lost in the world. It's what she can offer, while online retailers cannot.

For the holiday season, she is offering free gift wrapping and a free photo with Santa Claus at her store for every $50 spent.

Eric Jacobson, who manages Recycled Records, agreed with Hull, saying customer service gives local businesses the upper hand.

"You're not going to laugh at Amazon. You're going to laugh when you come in here," said Jacobson.

Although big box online stores are taking over, Jacobson said Recycled Records continues to beat its own record. The music and video store allows people to buy and sell.

"We have kind of a niche market," he said.

Holiday retail sales in November/December last year hit $658 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. That year, online sales accounted for just $123 billion of that number.

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