Small Business Saturday drew crowds—along with some high-profile shoppers—to locally owned businesses across the country this past weekend
President Obama brought his two daughters Sasha and Malia to Washington, D.C.’s Politics and Prose independent bookstore, where they bought 17 titles—including Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and young-adult novel Redwall by Brian Jacques. (Vox has the full list of the books they purchased.)
Many store owners in small towns and cities were also pleased with their shopper traffic. Pat Fuge, owner of tabletop games retailer Gnome Games, which has stores in Ashwaubenon and Green Bay, Wisconsin, expected 700 customers on Small Business Saturday, which is nearly double the number he had last year on the same Saturday. He credited a local campaign that engaged local consumers around Small Business Saturday and helped draw people to downtown shopping districts.
"Our retail side of the operation has been really pleasantly busy,” Fuge told the Green Bay Press Gazette. “There are a lot of new faces coming through the door."
In Jeffersonville, Indiana, city officials hosted a free performance of “Nutcracker on Ice” by the Louisville Skating Academy on a downtown ice rink in order to encourage people to come downtown and shop small that day. It apparently worked—one man drove his family into Jeffersonville to see the show and to shop. A local candy store, Schimpff's Confectionery, offered a candy-cane making demonstration that day. "It was really neat," Warren told Louisville’s Courier-Journal. "It was packed in there.”
Leila Pereza, co-owner of Space Montrose, a Houston, Texas store that brings in goods made by local artisans, told local news station KHOU on Saturday that the store “has never been busier.” The shop offered 10 percent off to customers who brought in sweaters to donate to a local youth shelter.
Pereza said the shop-local movement seems to be catching on in Houston: “I think that people love their city and we're just getting to a point where we're celebrating it.”
Read more articles on customer engagement.
Photo: Getty Images