The big chain retailers aren’t the only ones getting in on the Black Friday craze. Many small businesses also opened early today, hoping to get a piece of the shopping action.
One of them is Family Ties, which has been in business in Troy for ten years Thursday. Its owners have seen a lot of holiday shopping seasons, but this one is different. “Many years we didn’t even open on Black Friday, so because it was our anniversary, we just wanted to do something special,” said Debbie Darby.
She says that’s a good thing, because its been one of the busiest Black Fridays ever for the store. “We’ve seen a lot of people shopping locally today, it’s been a tremendous turnout. We’ve seen a lot of old friends and neighbors, and it’s just been a fun morning,” said Darby.
In downtown Troy, Perfectly Imperfect, the newest shop on the square, saw about 100 customers in three hours. “I think it’s really a new trend for, you know, these small boutique owners and small shops, you know, to get involved in the Black Friday stuff, but, you know, people are excited. They want a good deal,” said Shaunna West, owner of Perfectly Imperfect.
It’s a good deal for small businesses, too, she says. That includes shops which want to provide a different shopping experience to their customers. It’s working for shoppers like Crystal Ross, who says she’s only shopping locally on Black Friday. That’s because she wants to support small businesses in her hometown.
“Shopping local you go in, you know what the stores have, they know what their customers want, and just, still the friendly atmosphere, walking into the store, everyone’s speaking, being happy to greet you when you walk in as compared to the big box stores,” said Ross.
Many small businesses in Troy say they’ve seen Black Friday become a much more important part of their holiday retail season. They say they’re opening earlier and closing later to take advantage of it.
To draw support for local stores, many vendors are promoting “Small Business Saturday” tomorrow to encourage more people to do their holiday shopping close to home.