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SWFL business owner takes to Facebook Live to sell during pandemic

Retail sales defied expectations jumping almost 18% month-over-month from April to May.

One Southwest Florida business owner is making ends meet by changing how she is selling to customers.

When customers couldn’t come to True Fashionistas stores, owner Jennifer Johnson brought the merchandise to them through Facebook Live.

“It’s live on-air selling and I can be there with my customers making jokes, being who I am and they can be who they,” Johnson explained.

Johnson owns two stores next door to one another in Naples. One sells used home furnishings and the other sells second-hand clothing and luxury items.

She said, “We had to furlough all of our employees. So, my husband and I basically took the reins and had to manage every aspect of the business because the store was closed.”

While she already has an online store, she said Facebook Live created a sneak peek selling opportunity, “They are getting first dibs on anything that comes into the store watching that live show.”

Thanks to the live shows along with stores opening back up, Johnson estimates sales are up 50% from April to May.

Johnson says buying habits have also changed. They’re seeing an uptick in bags, jewelry, and casual clothing.

Items taking longer to sell include formal and businesswear because events are still uncertain.

Reporter:Allison Gormly
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