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Shop local for Small Business Saturday

Posted at 9:30 AM, Nov 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-26 12:30:50-05

With a multi-course meal to fuel them shoppers normally flock to stores on the weekend following Thanksgiving for festive sales. But this year has been anything but traditional. 23ABC's Kristin Vartan spoke to retail businesses around town about what their sale strategies are for this unprecedented holiday shopping season.

It's stores like In Your Wildest Dreams that draw local crowds on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. But what do they do when crowds are no longer covid-19 friendly? Here are some of the plans they have in place.

"We all know that 2020 has been a very 'fun' and eclectic year, difficult for most, but we hope that the public supports small businesses this year. We were one of the ones that had to close down. The precautions we're taking are the ones that we have been taking," explained Dixie Brewer, owner, In Your Wildest Dreams.

Among the safety measures they are taking are they ask customers to wear masks and have some on sight if needed, sanitizer stations everywhere and the store disinfects daily. And now that the county is in the purple tier, they'll operate their 8,700 square foot space at 25 percent capacity in addition to moving some of their sales on their outdoor patio and selling actively on Instagram.

"We're kind of used to it and everyone is used to it," said Brewer.

But what you may not be used to and what you can get excited for the weekend following Thanksgiving is a progressive sale system where the earlier you come to the shop, the bigger the discount.

"And we do hide a few things in the store the customer may find that would give them an additional discount. It could be a free gift certificate that they may have found. So we do have a few surprises," explained Brewer.

Brewer says it's characteristic of the treasure trove of luxury goods, ready to wear items, and home decor, they've been known for the last 21 years.

"A locket comes to mind that someone found here and it actually had the initials of the family. So someone had consigned it from a younger generation and someone had come and bought it, and it was their family locket. You just never know what you're going to find here."

And while department stores may see a ton of sales on Black Friday, a local boutique owner says that Saturday is all about small businesses.

"I love that about being a small local business. I know the customers by name, and they know me by name," said Heather Abbott, owner, Bella at the Marketplace.
In addition to that personalized service, Abbott points to the "many avenues" to help customers shop safely while shopping small.

"We do have a really active Instagram and Facebook, so people can shop through that too if they don't want to come in. We have a backdoor for people to pick up orders that way. So we just roll with the punches and do whatever we need to."

All weekend, Bella will have sales on small-priced items and buy one get one half off on sale items. And on Small Business Saturday, they'll have a raffle for a $200 Bella certificate.