Shopping local this weekend helps economy

Published 8:00 pm Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The weekend after Thanksgiving is traditionally one of the biggest for the retail industry as shoppers hit the stores looking for the best deals to start the Christmas shopping season.

That’s no different for shops in Vicksburg.

The big box retailers like Walmart, Belk and Hobby Lobby will be open part of the day Thanksgiving and for their annual Black Friday sales. But downtown Vicksburg will be bustling also starting Friday.

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Several merchants in downtown rely heavily on the post-Thanksgiving sales for their bottom line.

One of those businesses is Shananigan’s Boutique, located at 1208 Washington St., which opened earlier this year.

As part of Small Business Saturday, Shananigan’s Boutique will be hosting a “Christmas Shindig” Saturday beginning at 9 a.m.

“This is our version of a Christmas open house,” owner Shana Riddle said. “We want you to experience Shananigan’s with great fellowship, amazing appetizers, sales and discounts; stay a while and find something that makes you feel beautiful.”

Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday began nearly a decade ago as a means for people who enjoy those Black Friday sales the day after Thanksgiving to support small businesses a day later.

The Dragonfly, a retail and gift shop located at 1211 Washington St., is also geared up for the Christmas sales and owner Shanon Shealy said Small Business Saturday is a big part of their sales for the year.

“The weekend after Thanksgiving is a big weekend for us,” Shealy said. “As a small locally owned and operated business, we depend greatly on our local customers that weekend. It is probably the largest retail weekend of the year.”

Shealy said it’s also an opportunity to show their customers how much they are appreciated for their support throughout the year by offering promotions, prizes and food.

“We hope to see everyone downtown,” Shealy said.

Nancy Bullard who owns and operates Sassafras, a bridal and gift shop located at 1406 Washington St., said support from local shoppers is crucial for small business.

“Businesses like mine depend wholly on people shopping locally,” Bullard said.

She said sales the weekend after Thanksgiving are good, but not as good as weekends closer to Christmas.

“I think Thanksgiving weekend a lot of people shop for deals at big box stores and department stores,” Bullard said.

Those weekends are critical for her business.

“We depend on the  post-Thanksgiving revenue to be double compared to the rest of the year,” Bullard said. 

Downtown Christmas Old Fashioned Open House

For more than two decades, the Old Fashioned Open House in downtown Vicksburg has been bringing shoppers into small businesses to enjoy the post-Thanksgiving sales.

The annual event will be Sunday between 1:30 and 5 p.m. with more than 25 downtown merchants participating. Santa will be available for photos and shoppers who spend more than $25 will receive a free poinsettia while they last.

Retailers are hoping for a busy shopping season and by early estimations, that should be the case.

According to the National Retail Federation, 30 percent of annual retail sales occur between Black Friday and Christmas and more than 137 million Americans went to stores over the four-day holiday period in 2017. The NRF is expecting sales to increase more than four percent from a year ago, topping $717 billion.