Umhlanga, KZN - Women' boutique Zip-Code was particularly badly hit by the various lockdowns because it specialised in "going out wear", member Clare Jones said, "and none of that's happening".
Zip-Code sells locally-made clothing which she designs
"We weren't in a good place before Covid," she said, "and we struggled through it. December started well, but with that lockdown we had the worst December ever.
"However, in the last week, business has started to get a lot better. I've just signed another 2-year lease, so let's hope it continues that way."
Zip-Code's response to conditions included closing its second store, in La Lucia Mall, adding "slightly more casual" clothing, and promoting its online business. "That's grown exponentially," she said, "but we're still very new at it, and it has its own costs".
Also, it has dropped footwear. "The rental is very high, and we can't get enough margin selling someone else's brands," she said. She said she had tried stocking leather handbags, but "my customers are more after cheap and cheerful - they don't understand leather".