Hippie Chicks salesperson Britt Lindberg, left, assists Zena Studdard and her daughter, Keely, on Black Friday. (Mark Wilson Photo)
Black Friday conjures images of streams of shoppers queuing up for that big screen TV or new tablet on clearance at national chain stores.
A less common association with America’s annual shopping spree is mom and pop stores enticing customers with special sales and refreshments.
Multiple locally-owned retailers in Roswell offered promotions this holiday weekend for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, when cities across the nation promote shopping at local businesses.
Business owners said it was tough to contend with big name stores Friday but that the holiday shuffle still brought them valuable traffic.
“There’s no way I can compete against a 2 a.m. opening or a midnight opening, but what I can provide and what has made this business survive is our customer service,” said Molly Boyles, who owns [auth] Once Again Consignment on North Main Street.
The consignment shop offered discounts between 25 and 80 percent starting Friday and continuing today, in addition to refreshments and other promotions.
Terry Lindberg, owner of Hippie Chicks Boutique on South Main Street, said Black Friday is her biggest annual sale.
At 1:30 p.m., she said she had already seen between 75 and 100 customers — many of whom she knew by name — and expected roughly 100 more by closing time.
Hippie Chicks offered discounts of 25 and 40 percent on Friday, plus other promotions. Items are also on sale today.
Lindberg said she had to put some constraints on sale prices due to paying more for individual items than big-box stores do. She said she purchases specialty merchandise in small batches, in contrast to chain stores, which purchase items in bulk.
Hippie Chick patrons said they saw special value in shopping local, even if prices are lowest at national chains.
Zena Studdard, 49, and her teenage daughter were browsing holiday gifts at the boutique yesterday. Studdard said she would rather spend more money on merchandise at independently-owned businesses than on items at big-box stores so as to support the local economy.
She said she and her daughter, who reside part time in Roswell and the other part in House, visited large chain stores Thanksgiving Day for early bird promotions but reserved Black Friday for “the small businesses.”
“It seems like they have more unique stuff,” said Studdard.
While Hippie Chicks and Once Again played with the big dogs Friday, other local businesses forwent day-after-Thanksgiving sales in favor of Small Business Saturday promotions. Among those businesses were Tinnie Mercantile, Pecos Flavors Winery, Imagine That! Scrapbooks and Gift Store and Bows and Britches Boutique.
MainStreet Roswell director Dusty Huckabee said Small Business Saturday “probably goes back into the ’60s” and is one of multiple ways that the city encourages residents to “shop Roswell first.”
Tinnie Mercantile on Lea Avenue left Black Friday alone, aside from a fish tacos special at its deli.
Tinnie manager Brinkman Randle said Black Friday “only goes to the big stores” and today’s sales events at mom and pops across the city are “more celebrating our own kind.”
The store has a sale on handbags today.
Pecos Flavors Winery on North Main saved discounts of 30 and 50 percent off select items for today.
The winery held a happy hour to greet those finishing up an afternoon of shopping yesterday. One staff member said the shop had benefited from foot traffic generated by sales at other enterprises.
“We do a ton of business on Black Friday,” said server Michelle Hartman.