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Business competion forces one shop to close
LUMBERTON-By: Leslie Rangel
There are only 13 days left until Christmas to get all of your holiday shopping done.
The National Retail Federation expects us to spend more than 600 billion dollars this holiday season, more than any time in the past decade.
How much will you spend at locally owned businesses?
The growth in Lumberton has created new opportunities for mom and pop shops, but also more competition.
Kim's Peace boutique in Lumberton has served the community for 6 years.
"We specialize in large plus size clothing, I call it Texas sized clothing," Kim Hill, the owner says.
Hill opened after her daughter died to help her cope with the pain.
"When we opened it, was exceptionally good and over the last 2 years, it's been slowing down a little bit and this last year has really been a lot slower than it needed to be," Hill says.
So slow, she's decided to close up shop.
"I am smart enough to know that when there is more competition, there's is less money for everyone," Hill said.
She's talking about other boutiques in town.
All together there's more than five shops selling similar items.
"There's other places similar to hers inside the city and that's just the way it is," Steve Clark, the Lumberton city manager says.
Clark says despite the competition, it's important to keep shopping local.
"Sales tax is what keeps our city going," Clark said.
For a city that doesn't rely on property taxes, sales tax is the driving force.
Here at "All About You" boutique, they say business is steady.
"We're in a prime location, I know there are several other boutiques on the other highway and I know sometimes they have difficulties because that highway is not traveled as much anymore as highway 69 is," Laurie Swindells, the boutique manager says.
This shop manager says she understands the small business struggle and urges everyone to shop local.
"I believe strongly in people shopping local first, I've lived here for 13 years and I buy everything in Lumberton," Swindells says.
A swipe of a card that this city says goes far beyond the gifts this Christmas.
"Kim's Peace" boutique is closing by the end of the year.
The owner plans to open pop-up shops throughout the city.