Last weekend officially began the holiday shopping season, and not only national corporations saw profits. In Cazenovia, local merchants saw increased sales due to “Black Friday,” as well as “Small Business Saturday.”
“I knew we would be busy today,” said Karen Eldridge, owner of Isabella, on Black Friday. “I think there has been a lot more emphasis on [shopping locally] and educating customers lately. Everyone who lives here loves this community. We should all be supporting it as much as we can, any way we can.”
Black Friday is a shopping holiday held each year on the day after Thanksgiving. This year, it fell on Nov. 25. Retailers nationwide offer discounts to anxious shoppers, and many stores open in the early morning hours to accommodate bargain-hunters. Black Friday is traditionally regarded as the busiest shopping day of the year.
Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Created by the financial corporation American Express last year, consumers are encouraged to patronize their local small businesses. Alternatively, the Monday following Thanksgiving, known as “Cyber Monday” since 2005, encourages shoppers to peruse online stores.
While deep discounts can be found online, many forgo the virtual route when shopping. The inability to try on garments, the absence of human contact and the lack of sales tax revenue returned to one’s own area are just a few reasons for the resurgence in shopping locally.
“There are a lot of families in town this time of year. It’s wonderful,” said Laurie Hunt, owner of Lillie Bean. “They all come out and walk around together, saying hello to their friends in town. It’s almost like a family reunion atmosphere.”
This year, Black Friday and Shop Local Saturday boasted (unseasonably) warm temperatures and abundant sunshine, beckoning consumers out of their food-comas and recliners.
“The beautiful weather has been good for business, for sure,” said Cazenovia Jewelry Employee Lesley Roberts. “More women have been coming in to see what we have as we get closer to the holidays. They’re looking for deals and some ideas to give their husbands.”
“We’ve definitely been busy today, and are expecting another big day tomorrow,” said Lisa Cochrane, manager of The Key, on Nov. 25. “There are a lot of people visiting for the holidays, and they want to see what shopping Cazenovia has to offer.”
The shopping, dining and lodging in Cazenovia draws visitors not only from the surrounding counties, but across the state and country.
MaryAnn McCarthy, a resident of Orange County, N.Y., said she made the four-hour trip upstate for the holiday, but was happy to work off some extra calories while browsing through clothing racks. “I live in the Hudson Valley and my in-laws live here in Cazenovia. We came up for Thanksgiving, but every time I come here I need to swing by The Key and shop,” she said.
Pierce Smith is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at 434-8889 ext. 338 or firstname.lastname@example.org.