Adapting to the pandemic: San Marcos business owner sees online sales grow

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Amazon cites online growth as big reason for new Kyle facility

KYLE, Texas (KXAN) — Amazon has seen an increase in sales since the COVID-19 pandemic started, and a spokesperson says it’s also driving growth on the ground in Central Texas.

“What you’re seeing in Texas reflects a rise in the demand from customers,” said Joel Sider, an Amazon senior manager.

This week, realty company Majestic announced the retail giant will be leasing a facility at Kyle Crossing Business Park.

Although not on Amazon, one pair of San Marcos business owners have also seen that growth in their online sales during the pandemic.

“The backbone of this business has always been customer experience,” says Pam Couch.

That’s why she hadn’t given much thought to online sales for her San Marcos boutique, Two P’s & Calli’s.

“Come into our doors, let us touch you, let us wait on you, let us serve you.'”

But when everything shutdown, she and her daughter, Calli Swindele, also a co-owner, started doing Facebook lives.

The two say those sales have helped keep them afloat– even getting new customers from across the country.

Amazon’s new sortation facility is scheduled to open by the end of the year, according to realty officials. (KXAN/Tahera Rahman)

“Our own TV show we never thought we’d be movie stars, it’s been great,” Swindele says.

Sider says small and medium businesses on Amazon have sold 6,500 products per minute over the past year, including the pandemic period.

“Their sales are actually outpacing our first-party sales, so our direct retail sales that we do on the site,” he says.

Pam and Calli are now open seven days a week, with limited hours and capacity, but they are still keeping their virtual shopping alive.

“Our mission and goal is still being accomplished through our Facebook lives. We are still touching people,” Couch says.

Sider says Amazon has more than 40,000 jobs in the Lone Star State and 116,000 small and medium-sized businesses that sell with them online.

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