Valley shoppers avoid crowds by shopping Small Business Saturday

Friday many shoppers who wanted to avoid the Black Friday crowds at big box retailers ended up shopping at small businesses instead.
November 29, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Friday many shoppers who wanted to avoid the Black Friday crowds at big box retailers ended up shopping at small businesses instead. And those businesses are hoping that continues Saturday with Small Business Saturday, a national movement to encourage spending at local merchants.

A visit on Friday morning to Fresno's Tower District showed no long lines. In fact, Black Friday at Tsu Tsu Boutique looks like any other day, pleasant and even tranquil.

Inside the brand-name consignment boutique, owner Osry Tsudama rang up her latest purchase. She explaining the advantage for her shoppers, "The savings is substantial, so customers who normally couldn't afford a pair of Prada pants or a designer handbag, now they can," Tsudama said.

At Tsu Tsu Boutique there was slightly used Jimmy Choos, a Louis Vuitton purse, and designer denim.

Tsudama doesn't have a huge marketing budget, so she relies heavily on her Facebook and Instagram accounts to draw customers in. That is where she announced her Black Friday and Small Business Saturday Sales. But she says, the strategy for shoppers is the same, "the earlier you get here, the better discount you're going to get. So the early bird gets the worm," Tsudama said.

A lot of early birds visited Fresno Ag Hardware for Black Friday deals on holiday decor. Shoppers we spoke with applauded the hardware store for remaining closed on Thanksgiving.

"Actually get a little frustrated with Black Friday and the craziness and people going out and not observing Thanksgiving as it should've been," Lance Hairabedian said.

Many mom-and-pop shops like Bear Creek Gifts and Cabin D?cor in Old Town Clovis are counting on that mentality throughout the holiday shopping season. As part of Small Business Saturday, the Clovis Chamber of Commerce is kicking off a small business treasure hunt, where shoppers visit participating businesses to collect stamps and earn prizes.

"It gets them into the store, they take a look at what they have to offer. They may never have been in, and hopefully it'll be a pleasant experience for them," Shop owner Larry Grossi said.


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