DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Normally, Black Friday is the busiest for retailers and local businesses, but last year looked completely different with overall in-store shopping dropping 52 percent because of the pandemic.

“Projections are that Alabamians will spend 15 billion dollars on local holiday sales this year which is by and far above what we had done previously,” said Dean Mitchell, the executive director of the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce.

Stores had to make changes to accommodate their customers.

“Last year was the first year we did our car campout and that was so successful people camped out in their cars as they waited for us to open at 5 am and we also saw an increase in our website platforms,” Eagle Eye Digital Marketing Specialist Emma Gaster said.

But this holiday season will face another problem that stems from the pandemic – global supply chain issues and that’s causing stores to be low on certain products.

“We have a product called EasySubli it’s Siser product that is a printable vinyl that’s a cross between two products, so we seen an increase in those products that compliment the other well,” Craft Closet Store Manager Shelby Hudspeth said. “But there’s a sense of we run into problems with supply issues with like our vinyl letter removal those ingredients can make other items.”

In addition, the labor shortage can affect the holiday season when needing help to find your gift but luckily both businesses are not facing that inconvenience.

Therefore they are excited about the holiday season.

“We’re just encouraging people to shop local and early this year,” Gaster said.

“We are doing a golden ticket drawing which is two people for each location and then we have some special treats for Black Friday,” Hudspeth said.