Liv & Zoe Boutique shifts focus to online store

Published 11:46 pm Monday, January 22, 2024

By Haley Mitchell Godwin

After opening its doors to the public in November 2022, Liv & Zoe Boutique, a locally-owned business, is bidding farewell to its physical storefront on Feb. 1. The decision to shift exclusively to online sales comes from business owner, Kayla Hermeling, who expressed gratitude to the community for its unwavering support.

“Thank you to all the ones that have supported us over the past two years, with the online business and then when we opened the store,” Hermeling said. “I’m going to put my focus back on keeping the website running and growing the Facebook group, and I’ll be taking some college classes.”

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Citing practical reasons for the shift, Hermeling explained, “[Approximately] 80% of my sales come from online, so it does not make much sense to keep the store open with the overhead that having a store requires and the slowdown of foot traffic we’ve had in store vs. online.”

Hermeling emphasized the challenges faced by small businesses.

“A storefront requires a lot of time that people don’t think about,” she said. “It also requires rent/mortgage, utilities, some sort of internet, security system, insurance, payment to employees, credit/debit card fees, licensing… the list goes on and on.”

She encouraged the community to support local businesses, highlighting the impact on the community, schools, and sports teams. Hermeling acknowledged the convenience of online shopping but urged customers to consider the unique experiences provided by local stores.

In response to the closure announcement, members of the community shared their sentiments on the Liv & Zoe Facebook page. 

Local shopper Jo Ann McCartha conveyed understanding.

“I’ll miss your store & getting to visit,” McCartha said. “But, we all have to do what’s best for our family so I completely understand. I wish you the best in your schooling & future endeavors.”

Tanya Parks remarked, “Your store will be missed along with your kind heart and bright smile.” 

Penny Perdue expressed her gratitude, saying, “I’m so glad I’ve gotten to know you and your helpers. I’m wishing you the best!”

In a message to the loyal customers, Hermeling reassured them of continued engagement through live videos, pop-up shops, and vendor shows. Hermeling also announced markdowns on select items and urged customers with pending packages to arrange for pickup by Feb. 1.

As Liv & Zoe Boutique transitions to an online-only model, Hermeling expressed hope for the continued success of the online side and encouraged followers to join and share the Facebook group. In her parting words, she emphasized, “It cost $0 to help a small business.”