Sales nosedive at Cake Carousel in Richardson underscores impact of coronavirus on retail industry

The longtime, family-owned business sells baking and decorating supplies. (Courtesy Cake Carousel)
The longtime, family-owned business sells baking and decorating supplies. (Courtesy Cake Carousel)

The longtime, family-owned business sells baking and decorating supplies. (Courtesy Cake Carousel)

Struggles tied to the coronavirus are not exclusive to restaurants. Retail stores, such as Cake Carousel, are also feeling the strain.

The longtime, family-owned business not only hosts private parties and classes but also sells baking and decorating supplies. As concerns over the coronavirus have grown, owner Kelli Duffy said sales at Cake Carousel have dwindled “pretty close to zero.”

“People are canceling parties, which means no one is shopping here,” Duffy said.

Many retail businesses in Richardson were forced to shutter when Dallas County’s stay-at-home order went into effect March 23. The order called for the closure of all nonessential businesses.

Cake Carousel provides products to businesses run out of homes or restaurants, so it is allowed to stay open. However, with the majority of residents sheltering in place, foot traffic is practically nonexistent, Duffy said.

“Needless to say, it’s a ghost town in our complex,” she said.

Like most business owners, Duffy is scrambling to come up with ways to entice customers. Knowing that many people are stuck at home, Duffy saw an opportunity to encourage do-it-yourself projects. She put together cookie-decorating sets she sells in packs of six or 12.

“For people who are at home, come in and buy products so you can spend time with your kids, your spouse or whoever you’re at home with,” she said.

Cookie kits were something Duffy and her staff had talked about offering prior to the outbreak but were too busy with classes to invest time in the project.

“This has actually pushed us to take this to the next level,” she said. “After all this passes, we will continue to do it.”

The business is also offering curbside pickup of orders placed over the phone. She encouraged customers to continue patronizing businesses as much as they can. This will protect the livelihoods of employees, she said

“If you were visiting [businesses] weekly—still get out and do that,” she said. “They have people that work for them who need to pay their rent and feed their families.”
By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


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