Some local businesses are attributing a boost in profits over the weekend at least in part to Small Business Saturday. The shopping holiday is a spinoff of Black Friday, which also spurred Buy Nothing Day and Cyber Monday.
Merchants who harnessed Small Business Saturday in downtown Conway said they were pleased with weekend profits, but so did the stores that went about regular business with "regular low prices."
Wilkinson’s Mall, a shoe store that also sells clothing and accessories, reported a busier Friday. Saturday sales were not as strong as Friday’s, though the store didn’t offer unusual pricing on Black Friday, a manager said.
"We don’t do a lot of Black Friday sales because our prices are low all the time. We don’t mark it up and then down again," said Jenny Honey, vice president at Wilkinson’s.
Honey said the store sees higher sales near the holidays, but the method she said has worked for 30 years has been to be consistent and to match prices.
"We’ll keep going the way we are for now," she said.
The Sporty Runner downtown reported higher sales Saturday.
"We definitely saw an increase over the same day last year. I think the continued awareness of Small Business Saturday is starting to pay off," manager Don Starr said.
Starr said the store used Facebook to promote in-store specials in conjunction with Small Business Saturday.
He said sales figures this year were healthier than in 2011.
"It wasn’t a huge jump, but we’ll take what we can get," Starr said. "I think people are starting to get a little more confident, and they’re getting tired of feeling like they can’t go out shopping."
The Kitchen Store’s manager, Tricia O’Connor, said she heard from customers who were deliberate in shopping at local stores Saturday.
"We had people that mentioned they were shopping small. It made a difference with people. I talked to a lot of people Saturday and Friday who opted out of the craziness of Black Friday," O’Connor said.
O’Connor said sales over the weekend were "great," and that the weekend and weeks following Thanksgiving are "extremely important" for the business.
Lefler’s, a women’s clothing store, reported larger numbers on Saturday.
"We always do something special, but we don’t advertise and throw it out there like the big box stores do as far as opening early, and we especially didn’t follow with opening up on Thanksgiving evening," owner Cheryl Bennett said.
The store did promote one Black Friday special on a jewelry item, she said.
HipSway downtown harnessed Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and followed up the big weekend with Cyber Monday.
Owner Abby King said when doors opened at 5 a.m. Black Friday, there were close to 100 customers in line for tickets offering discounts.
About one dozen people were in line with chairs and umbrellas at 2 a.m. Friday.
"We did good. This was our fourth time to do it and we’ve carried on the tradition," King said.
King said the store used multiple channels of social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to promote the Friday, Saturday and Monday events.
(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)