Small Business Saturday a Success for Downtown Businesses

Three Sisters/FB.

While shoppers flocked to stores on Black Friday, downtown businesses held their own version of the retail “holiday” for Small Business Saturday, a nationwide movement to support local businesses.

“It was absolutely fabulous,” said Carol Knauf, owner of Rae Baxter’s. “People were out and around with a great attitude, and the weather was nice.”

A longtime staple for women’s clothing downtown, Rae Baxter’s saw four times the amount of foot traffic on Saturday. “What impressed me the most was how many people said they were here to support our local downtown stores,” she said, adding that more people are becoming aware of nationwide efforts to shop local.

Knauf finds that her customers prefer coming to the store in person to try on the clothes rather than shopping through a website, since it’s more difficult to judge the fit and quality of the clothes online. “They can’t feel the fabric and look at the fit until it comes in the mail,” she said.

Other downtown storeowners found similar success on Small Business Saturday.

“The entire weekend was crazy busy, and we did extremely well,” said C.W Mitten, Mitten’s Home Appliance. “Saturday, you could certainly tell the traffic in downtown was different. A couple times looking out the front window, you could see all the parking stalls were full.”

As a fun twist on Black Friday, Mitten’s filmed a “Men in Black” parody video promoting that weekend’s “extraterrestrial” sales.

“A lot of our customers are old enough to have seen that movie,” said Mitten. The video allowed him and employees to take a humorous approach to their work. “I certainly don’t mind making fun of myself.”

In the spirit of Small Business Saturday, customers who shop at Mitten’s also end up supporting other local businesses as well.

“They’re supporting us, and in turn we end up supporting lot of the others businesses in our area too,” said Mitten. “We try to buy as much locally as we possibly can.”

Newcomer Three Sisters resale boutique experienced heavier foot traffic during the retail event.

“Saturday was definitely excellent,” said Nicole Ledin. “My husband opened the store, and he had people waiting outside.”

The boutique recently moved a few doors down from their starting location and has received more foot traffic at its new spot next to Cranberry Creek, an established downtown business. Three Sisters has also developed a partnership with Mojo’s restaurant, also new this year, by mutually offering a 10% discount for those who show a receipt from the other business.

That community of support among downtown businesses is a crucial part of succeeding.

“It’s about working together for the same purpose and goal, to offer good things and make the holiday experience a good one,” said Ledin.

Kaylin S
Author: Kaylin S

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