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Local retailers hold steady as online shopping hurts some big department stores

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Nationwide Macy's is cutting 40 stores and in the Commonwealth six will close its doors permanently. Corporate stated the closures are partly, because of increase of online shoppers. However, some local specialty stores in downtown Roanoke, like 310 Rosemont and La De Da, who compete with these shopping outlets, keep customers coming back.

"We have a lot of customers that we know by first and last name, and we know their families," said Jessica Burgess, the manager of 310 Rosemont.

Carole Hughes, Owner of La De Da - "You have to have relationships with people," said Owner of La De Da Carole Hughes. "We're human and the internet to me takes out the personality."

Hughes has managed her boutique for 21-years. Experienced in fashion she told us local retailers offer a tailored shopping experience. Customers can come in, feel the fabric, try on outfit, and staff can help you find a look, which cannot be done on a computer.

"If you shop online, a lot of times there are websites that can help you pick out an outfit," said Hughes. "But, it's going to be the same outfit as somebody else. It's not going to be your own personalized outfit."

Neither boutique offers online shopping as an option. Instead, both advertise through social media and say it's about offering exceptional customer service.

"We want everybody to feel special," said Burgess. "We want everybody to get personalized service, because a lot of the stuff that we carry can be bought online."

Hughes said she believes online shopping may take over eventually. But, for now their foot traffic is keeping steady as it's mostly locals who support area retailers. Hughes added nothing beats the instant gratification of taking home a purchase the same day.