Independent Options for Black Friday
By Tom Ryan
Black Friday officially kicks off the holiday selling season. But
unable to compete with doorbuster mania at the big boxes, it’s often a drab
day for independent retailers. Still, some are trying or at least feel compelled
to try to capture some of the shopping frenzy.
For instance, Limelight, a gifts
boutique in Marietta, GA, will open its doors at 8:30 or 9 a.m., rather
than the normal 11 a.m. The first 20 customers in the door get 20 percent off
their purchase. Shoppers throughout the day will also be offered free cookies,
brownies and Starbucks coffee.
"They start their day at the big boxes," owner Susie Mauldin told The
Atlanta Journal-Constitution regarding her Black Friday customers. "By
the time they get to us, they want to chill."
Many others open early and
offer some discounts in hopes of siphoning off some of the traffic heading
to the malls. Much depends on the proximity the malls.
Malene Davis, co-owner
of the Beehive in Atlanta, told the Journal-Constitution that
she is hoping that relocating her store to a complex closer to a shopping center
with a Target will help drive traffic on Black Friday.
"It’s usually an extraordinarily slow day," she said of past Black
Fridays. "Most people … traditionally go big box. We just can’t compete."
to the News-Leader in Springfield, MO, David Crump, owner
of Global Fayre, a retailer of crafted artisan products in downtown Springfield,
said 2009’s Black Friday was fairly healthy for his store. "But it was
mostly people wanting to escape the mad crowds. Downtown is a good place to
Still, many other independents view Saturday as their first day
of holiday shopping after the doorbuster frenzy dies down. Some are extending
discounts throughout the weekend.
"Where are you on Black Friday? The malls," Ursula Hallinan, general
manager of the Parent Teacher Stores in Poughkeepsie and Kingston, NY told
Journal. "It is not our holiday at all."
As an alternative,
the Parent Teacher Store is offering a 20 percent-off storewide discount
from 5 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 10.
Speaking to the News-Ledger, Alexa Hoke
Schweke, co-owner of the R&S
Floral Christmas in Springfield, MO, said his temporary store last year had
been inside the Battlefield Mall and opened at 4:30 a.m. The first sale didn’t
occur until 9:30 a.m. With the new location located outside the mall, the store’s
hours on Black Friday will be 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
"I’m not doing anything big for Black Friday because to me that’s for people
looking for deals on computers and TVs," said Ms. Hoke Schweke. "But
we will be here with smiles on."
Discussion Questions: What is the opportunity for independent retailers
on Black Friday? How, if at all, should they try to stand out during the
- Small retailers set for Black Friday – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
- Local businesses say Black Friday not as big as other shopping days – News-Leader
- Black Friday: Smaller stores try different days, goods to compete with box
stores – Poughkeepsie Journal