Local retailers see a Black Friday boost
BY KYLE ARNOLD World Staff Writer
Thursday, November 22, 2012
11/22/12 at 2:46 AM
The changing Black Friday landscape of earlier hours for big box stores may have an unintended positive consequence for local retail shops.
While Thursday night and early Friday morning shopping belongs almost exclusively to national chains, department stores and malls, many locally owned businesses are stepping up their post-Thanksgiving presence and embracing the frenzy.
Business owners in the Cherry Street district are making a concerted effort to keep stores open late on Friday evening in hopes that shoppers will return after they are done getting doorbuster deals at blockbuster stores.
Utica Square stores and other small retailers across town are making similar efforts as the weekend evolves into an all-out shopping holiday.
"A lot of families are treating Black Friday as a big event, where they get together and go shopping," said Amy Adkins, owner of the Gadget Company and Mrs. DeHaven's Flower Shop on 15th Street, and chairman of the Tulsa Metro Chamber's Small Business Council. "I think as business owners we have to adapt to those trends."
Traditionally, many retailers have closed doors on Thanksgiving weekend, giving in to national chains and hoping to pick up sales in early December. That mindset is changing, Adkins said.
Business groups nationwide are working to turn the day after Black Friday into Small Business Saturday, and various companies are hosting promotions to get more locally owned businesses more shoppers.
Advocates point to the big impact in local communities made by these small retailers and the larger percentage of sales that are kept in the local economy.
But local retailers attest that Black Friday is one of their busiest shopping days of the year, even if they can't offer the same doorbuster deals as Walmart, Best Buy and Macy's.
And Thanksgiving night shopping hours only make the day more appealing to small shops because consumers can wake up Friday and head to small retailers after snagging all of the high-ticket discount merchandise they need.
Cherry Street women's apparel shop Rope will stay open until 8 p.m. on Friday night and owner Laura Scott is counting on the post-Thanksgiving day to boost in-store traffic.
"With all the new businesses on Cherry Street, people are discovering that there is a lot to offer, and they really came out last year on Black Friday," Scott said. "There are always parents and spouses that come in and are picking up gifts and it's a chance for my regular customers to see the newest items we have."
This will be Rope's third Black Friday, and Scott is expecting another increase in interest this year. The store is offering sales on some merchandise, but she said she has begun stocking more gift items to appeal to a broader audience.
The handful of the shops at the Utica Square Shopping Center that are locally owned will open Friday and are expecting big crowds.
Snow Goose owner Jan Stevens said holiday shoppers have already been active this year, giving her hope that a big Christmas season is coming.
"We'll be so packed you won't be able to move," said Stevens, whose store sells a variety of gifts and stationery. "It's become an important day this year."
Already shoppers are loading up at Snow Goose with iPhone accessories, as well as alcohol and wine accessories, Stevens said.
"I just know that Friday was huge last year, and Saturday was huge last year, so we will be open," she said.
Black Friday openings
4 p.m.: Michael's
8 p.m.: Kmart, Sears, Stage, Toys 'R' Us, Walmart
9 p.m.: Target
12 a.m.: Bealls, Belk, Best Buy, Dick's Sporting Goods, Kohl's, Macy's, Old Navy, Shoe Carnival, Sports Authority, Ulta
5 a.m.: Academy Sports & Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops, Drysdales, Gordmans, Home Depot, Kmart, Lowe's, Office Depot, Staples
6 a.m.: Bed Bath & Beyond, Big Lots, Burlington Coat Factory, CareFirst Pharmacy, JCPenney, Joann's, Northern Tool & Equipment, Radio Shack
7 a.m.: Big Lots, Dollar General, Guitar Center, Harbor Freight Tools, Mardel, PetSmart, Sam's Club, Stein Mart, Hahn Appliance Warehouse
8 a.m.: Dillard's, Family Dollar, Furniture Row
Locally owned retail destinations
BoxWorks: giftwrapping, stationery and gifts
The Dolphin: bed and bath decor and linens
Elephant Trunk: luggage
Flirt: apparel and shoes
The Glass Slipper: shoes
Grand Vin Bottle Shop: liquor and wine
John Daniel Footwear
The Farm shopping center
The Pinpoint Resource: men's dress apparel
BoomerTown USA: sports gifts and apparel
Espigares Watches & Clocks
Ted's Pipe Shops Ltd.: cigar and tobacco
The Dog Dish: pet treats
Lyon's Indian Store: gifts
Dwelling Spaces: apparel and gifts
Boomtown Tees: apparel
The Gadget Co.: men's gifts and sporting goods
Made: The Indie Emporium Store
Rope: women's apparel and gifts
Ascent: outdoor and athletic attire
Blue Jean Baby: denim and fashion
Original Print Headline: Think small, shop big
Kyle Arnold 918-581-8380
Jan Stevens, owner of The Snow Goose in Utica Square, straightens items on the shelves on Tuesday. CORY YOUNG / Tulsa World
Rose Wheeler (left) and her mother, Jenni Wilson, both of Bartlesville, laugh at items on the shelves Tuesday at The Snow Goose in Utica Square. CORY YOUNG / Tulsa World