More people are shopping and spending money at Wichita businesses


WICHITA, Kan (KSNW) – The spending dollars are flowing in Wichita. Experts said people are shopping more now than they did before the pandemic.

The co-owner of Burnell’s Fine Jewelry and Design in east Wichita said business has never been better. It’s welcome news after COVID-19 shut their doors three times last year.

“The whole year was just like a dream for most people you just kinda did it, and you went on,” said Robin Lies, co-owner of Burnell’s Fine Jewelry and Design.

Lies said there were moments last year she won’t forget.

“At first, it was devastating. I mean it hit just like that, and we suddenly had to close the store we were closed for six weeks, seven weeks,” she said.

Lies said they shut down three times in 2020 but also got creative, scheduling private showings, and using social media more than ever and she said it worked.

“Our business the past two years has been the best it has ever been,” she said.

Wendell Funk the president of the Wichita Independent Businesses Association said businesses are now busy across Wichita.

“I’ve talked to some retailers even this morning and business is up 20% so business is increasing and people are spending more when they are in the store,” said Funk.

Funk said many shoppers have missed the in-person shopping experience, and it’s driving more people back to local Wichita businesses.

“Now more than ever, it’s a great time for local retailers to make some gains,” said Funk.

“To buy something expensive online like this it’s just nuts,” said Lies.

Economic experts said they aren’t sure how long this boost in spending will last, estimating that by the third quarter of the year spending might slow down. But for business owners, the current extra spending is welcome.

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