Today is one of the largest days for shopping in the year and while commercial retailers opened stores for Black Friday deals Thursday night, there are plenty of area businesses offering their own markdowns today and Saturday.
While Small Business Saturday is after Black Friday, Main Street Alexander City executive director Stacey Jeffcoat said every day with local retailers is a shop small business day.
“As far as Black Friday, our downtown businesses — nothing against the big box shops — offer a uniqueness you can’t find,” Jeffcoat said. “(Local retailers) know what you like and the customer service aspect. To me that lends to the whole holiday spirit of shopping. You’re not fighting crowds and long stressful crowds (at small businesses).”
Jeffcoat hopes today and Saturday are busy for local merchants.
“I think people are leaning toward staying close to home and getting their Christmas shopping done at home, so we always encourage everybody to shop local,” Jeffcoat said.
Frohsin’s Clothier is holding sales up to 50% off today and Saturday. Employee Stuart Brasell said the shopping holiday promotes the business and it has clothes and other items people can’t get at large retailers.
“We’re excited about it because it brings many people in downtown,” Brasell said. “We look forward to seeing all of our regular customers.”
Frohsin’s is expecting triple the amount of its daily customers for the sales.
“It’s a great sale day and we need that because it keeps people in town and lets them know that we have nice stuff,” Brasell said.
Shopping local benefits merchants who live in Alexander City and give back to local charities, Jeffcoat said.
Half Moon Market & Interiors gave 30% off to its first 25 customers today and every Saturday when a customer who purchases items can pick a Hershey’s kiss, which will have a 10%, 15% or 20% off sticker at the bottom.
Makers Market owner Barbara Thompson said the store has a 10% discount on frozen casseroles today and the store receives a lot of foot traffic on Black Friday.
“There’s a lot of (shoppers) who ‘don’t do’ Black Friday but they’ll come down and shop downtown on Friday and Saturday,” Thompson said. “We had a really good Friday last year after Thanksgiving. Hopefully we’ll have it again this year.”
Thompson said she needs shopping holidays like Black Friday to help pick up the business.
“It’s very important because it makes up for the rest of the year,” Thompson said. “It’s really important to help the sales and economy come up. It helps a lot.”
Downtown Girl has already started Black Friday early by opening at 8 a.m. and serving customers breakfast. Owner Beth Haynie said the day is a big event for the store.
“It’s one of our biggest days here, so we have tons and tons of boxes and new arrivals that we’ll put out for Black Friday,” Haynie said. “It brings in a lot of people from not just here but out of town as well.”
The store will also have discounts Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. as well.
Local business success increases tax revenue and provides other programs to downtown, according to Jeffcoat.
“It benefits everybody to shop local,” Jeffcoat said. “It benefits merchants, tax revenue and you don’t have to fight traffic or anything like that.”
In addition to Small Business Saturday, Main Street and the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce are hosting their own Shop Local Saturday on Dec. 14. For every $50 spent at a chamber business, shoppers will receive one entry to win $500.
“Main Street is thrilled to be partnering with the city and the chamber,” Jeffcoat said. “We encourage everybody to get out and enjoy our community and shop with our merchants and find those unique gifts you can’t find anywhere else.”
There are plenty of area businesses offering sales for Black Friday, including S&S Discount Tire Pros, McGhee Furniture Warehouse, McGhee Mattress and More, Caldwell Electronics, Goody’s and Badcock Home Furniture to name only a few.