Merchants prep for holiday shopping spree
MORGAN CITY, La. — Local small business owners are preparing for the upcoming holiday shopping weekend, but say they don’t expect the shopping rush to come until later in the holiday shopping season.
“For small businesses, like us, it seems like it (the holiday shopping rush) comes later and later every year,” said Kevin Savoie, owner of Dad & Lad Togs men’s clothing store in Patterson.
However, Savoie expects a good holiday shopping season for his store but doesn’t expect Black Friday and Small Business Saturday to bring in a lot of customers though he will be open, he said.
“Most people want to go to those bigger malls where there are 100 stores in one place,” he said.
“The small guy presents more service than the big guys,” Savoie said, adding that many big stores do not do alterations on clothing or gift wrapping as his business does.
Some area small business owners are looking to get people to stay in the area for the upcoming shopping weekend.
“Being a locally owned small business, we have to attempt to keep people in town on Black Friday,” said Wildflower Boutique owner Frances Stevens.
The boutique will extend its business hours on Friday and be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. to take advantage of the big shopping day and will also be open Saturday, Stevens said.
“Although we don’t have a lot of American Express users, we think it’s a great concept (referencing American Express’ Small Business Saturday promotion to give users $25 back if they spend $25 or more at a small business if users register their cards online).”
So far, holiday business has been steady, but the number of people visiting the shop has decreased, Stevens said.
“As of now, I find the traffic flow is not as great (as in past years), but the dollars (coming in) are about the same,” Stevens said.
Town & Country Florist in Berwick will also be open Friday and Saturday but is not expecting much business. “We don’t do well on these days,” said owner Glynda Lasseigne.
Still, overall, the holiday season brings in considerable business for the shop, she said.
“This is our busy time because we’re decorating homes and businesses,” Lasseigne said.
Some area small businesses are trying to work with other businesses to bring in shoppers.
“We’re pulling together as a unit downtown (to bring in shoppers),” Stevens said. “Some of the stores open so early they (shoppers) can come by after (they go shopping at the larger stores out of town).”
“We’re hoping for a good turnout (this holiday shopping weekend),”said Paige Leblanc of Plantation Treasures in Morgan City. They have sent out emails to their customers about sales they will have this weekend, Leblanc said.
Morgan City downtown businesses will take part in Jingle Down to the 700 Block Shop on Dec. 1 on Front Street, where there will be door prizes, and Santa Claus and business owners will be handing out discount coupons encouraging people to shop downtown, said Beth Price of Morgan City Main Street.
“I know the downtown merchants are really excited about it (the upcoming holiday shopping season). They’re hoping that people shop local, downtown, with people that they know and people that will work with them on stuff,” Price said.