For Donna Gouldey, the Facebook post started innocently enough. She merely wanted to reward coronavirus-vaccinated shoppers with a small token at her Doylestown gift store. What she got in return was certainly more than she bargained for, reports Matt DeLuca at NBC10.
“It was just a whirlwind,” Gouldey said. “At first I didn’t know really how to feel about it.”
On March 13, Gouldey entered a small post on the Facebook page of her business, Allora Gifts and Home Décor. The content read: “I’d like to thank those who have been vaccinated. Starting today, show me your Covid vax card and receive 10 % off your in-store purchases on Saturdays.”
As it turns out, the post generated a lot of comments. More than a thousand. And many of the replies were not ones she expected.
One said, “You’ve lost a lot of customers… including me.” Another called it discriminatory. A potential shopper promised to “…make sure I’m not giving a dime to businesses that are doing what you’re doing.”
Gouldey was disheartened. “The whole point of the post was in celebration of the milestone of the vaccine,” she said. She considered deleting both the comment and the offer.
But she stuck to her guns, feeling it was important for her neighbors and customers to know what she stood for.
And in response, hundreds of customers — new and old — started showing up. People as far as California were calling, wanting to buy from her.
Gouldey recognizes that public opinion on COVID-19 vaccines will vary. She sees the dichotomy as a launching point for respectful conversation, which she welcomes.
More on the retail rollercoaster that Gouldey found herself on is available at NBC10.