Can Black Friday Success Continue on Small Biz Saturday?
From the malls to Maplewood Village, retailers were reporting an "up" season. But today is small businesses' time to shine.
It seems the trend reached Maplewood Village too.
"We had a really great day, better than last year," said Mary Vayas, owner of the eclectic gift and clothing shop No. 165 on Maplewood Avenue. "The village was pretty busy."
Vayas noted that the Trattoria, which is owned and operated by her husband Angelo, "was jamming tonight. I saw a lot of local shopping bags."
Steve Crane at Crane's Deli said that the morning was slow for him but things picked up by lunch time. At 3 p.m. there was a line at the counter.
Shop owners are hoping the trend will continue into Saturday with the American Express-backed promotion Small Business Saturday. Shoppers can register online to get a $25 card statement credit from Amercian Express for shopping locally on November 27.
Up on Springfield Avenue, participating businesses are counting on the District Dollars program to bring in the shoppers. Customers can enter the District Dollars program online at SpringfieldAvenue.com for a chance to win $1,000 in Springfield Avenue District Dollars which are good at participating businesses and restaurants. Meanwhile, one of Springfield Avenue's superstar tenants, Fringe Salon, emailed the Small Business Saturday Amercian Express link to customers directly to make it that much easier for them to sign up for the $25 statement credit from AmEx.
Out at the malls, William Flemm, manager of the Livingston Mall, told Patch, "We're a lot busier than last year." He attributed the traffic at least partially to the midnight opening of Old Navy, followed by other retailers in the wee small hours of the morning. At the Short Hills Mall, general manager Mike McAvinue estimated that mall traffic was up 8-10%.
Despite increased traffic at area malls, locals still found time to shop Maplewood Village.
Vayas and cohorts were pleasantly surprised by the Black Friday buisness. Said Vayas, "We're up from last year which I wasn't expecting, but it's a great surprise. Many people said they couldn't deal with the big box stores and really wanted to shop local. We really appreciate that ... we had a few sales going on which definitely helped."