Some Pee Dee stores benefit greatly from Small Business Saturday
FLORENCE, S.C. — While most people think of long lines, cramped aisles and big savings when thinking of Black Friday, small local businesses experience Black Friday weekend a little differently.
Some benefit greatly from Black Friday shoppers, others see less traffic during the holiday weekend, and many see an uptick in shoppers for Small Business Saturday.
Melissa Hall, manager of Rivals-A Store Divided, said the store was one of the retailers that greatly benefit from Black Friday shopping, especially with the big game between Clemson and South Carolina being played the same weekend.
“All of that means we are very busy,” Hall said. “There are a lot of people in here shopping for Christmas, but we also have others who were shopping for the game. We’re going to be pretty busy the whole weekend, and we have a lot of staff here to prepare for it. It’s the busiest weekend we have the whole year.”
Shannon H. McGillivray, the owner of Goosie Ganders & Interiors, said the shop — which has been in business for 34 years — experiences Black Friday a bit differently than other retailers.
“We have a great customer base, and we stay busy throughout the Christmas season,” McGillivray said. “Black Friday for us isn’t as crazy as it is for most retailers. They have door-buster sales and stuff shipped in. The type of stuff we do, it’s all individually created. For us, although we’re busy, Black Friday is mostly when the woman of the home comes into get their home decorations. It’s not about gifts in our store so much as it is about getting that decorating done so that you can have the parties and events later in the month.”
Danny Chandler, co-owner of Galloway & Moseley Jewelry, said the business was running an interesting sale: All week, the jeweler was taking predictions from its customers on the Clemson-South Carolina game. If the score that was averaged out and predicted beforehand was the score of the actual game, all jewelry in the store bought that week would be refunded.
“We’re running a couple of sales,” Chandler said. “We don’t get the mobs like some of the others. Things have definitely changed. It’s not the biggest weekend for us. The last five days before Christmas, we’ll probably do more than November and December combined. People know they can count on us for consistent and quality pieces.”
Mike Miller, president of the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce, said the Florence community offers plenty of options for those looking to get their holiday shopping checklists marked.
“Our communities offer a wide variety of local shopping options which we should support, especially this [past] weekend on Small Business Saturday,” Miller said. “The unique experience our local small businesses offer is critical to the region throughout the year. It’s also important to remember that small local retailers are a needed element to the region’s overall success.”
For Small Business Saturday, downtown businesses worked together to provide deals for those choosing to “shop local,” including a sale in which shoppers could spend $50 or more with any participating retailer and receive 10 percent off their meal purchase at any participating restaurant.
Miller said he expected a large number of shoppers in the Florence area for several small businesses, including those in the downtown.
“I think the region is expecting a record-breaking shopping week with the ever-growing local and national retailer based in the greater Florence area,” Miller said. “Florence truly has become a rather large shopping hub for the Pee Dee region. Traffic and store sales will reflect that this holiday shopping weekend.”