Ready to shop?

Published 7:03 pm Thursday, November 26, 2009

Retail experts have reported Americans will spend 16 percent more this Black Friday than they did last year. But for local independent retailers, what seems like the national shopping holiday doesn’t necessarily mean much to them.

“I am not going to be here – or anywhere at 5 a.m.,” Bruce Bowles, owner of D.B. Bowles Jewelry, said. “Traditionally, Black Friday is not any better a day for us than normal, but the shopping season between Thanksgiving and Friday is extremely important.”

For downtown clothier Scott Nash, Black Friday is not on the top of his marketing list.

“Those who will be out Friday are more so going to the big box stores and national retailers,” Nash said. “They’re looking for discounts and sales.

“I am not going to try and compete with the them.”

Nash said his store does see an increase in walk-ins over the shopping season, in addition to his “regulars.”

“Those walk-ins are so important to our business,” Nash said. “If we can get them in the store, show them our service, then we feel good about keeping them as customers.”

For many of these local retailers, the next few weeks offer a chance to improve or to make their year.

“This is really make-it-or-break-it time of the year,” said Joan Mayo of Knot Hole Station in Driver. “With a gift store like ours — for any business like ours — this last quarter of the year is so important.”

Mayo said the sales during this time offer them a chance to make up for any slow sales throughout the year.

“This time of year is so important to us,” Mayo said. “I hope people will be kind and remember us. And come shop with us.”

Bowles and Nash both said the holiday shopping season accounts for about 25 percent of their annual sales.

“This is easily the biggest time of the year for us,” Bowles said. “We see another spike around Valentines Day, but nothing like the increase we will see over the Christmas season.”