After Black Friday, small businesses try to cash in on shopping frenzy

While shoppers landed good deals on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, local businesses will try to cash in on this weekend’s shopping frenzy by promoting special sales on Small Business Saturday.

The majority of shoppers in the region crowded the doors of retailers and local malls that opened on Thanksgiving evening, while Black Friday shoppers seemed relaxed as they browsed deals at area stores.

An estimated 164 million people are planning to shop this weekend, according to the annual survey released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. The numbers include Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Sunday and Cyber Monday.

On Black Friday, families sauntered through the Dayton Mall — picking up gifts and trying on clothes without hurry. James Maggard, of Franklin, sat on a bench in the Dayton Mall, waiting for his family as they shopped around for gifts. He said they woke up early to go to Toys“R”Us, which he said “wasn’t busy at all.”

“We went to Walmart last night,” he said. “Now, that was awful. I have PTSD and it all came back last night. I told my wife I had to just go out to the car.”

He said a “little old lady” grabbed an electronics item right out of his hand at Walmart. Today has been calm with smaller crowds, he said.

Holiday spending in Ohio is expected to grow 2 percent this year compared to 2016, bringing in an estimated $24.1 billion statewide — and people in the Dayton region are expected to spend more than last year. NRF projects that holiday retail sales in November and December this year will be up between 3.6 percent and 4 percent for a total between $678.8 billion and $682 billion. Consumers say they will spend an average $967.13 this year, according to the annual survey conducted.

Kenna Davis and Tera Estep of Middletown started their day of shopping at 4 a.m. at the Cabela’s in West Chester Twp. The lines were so long that they opted out of buying anything at all.

“It was unreal,” Davis said.

After that, they went to Target, which didn’t have any lines. “We thought it would be jam-packed.” Sitting in the Dayton Mall with Auntie Anne’s pretzels, the women waited on a bench for Estep’s daughters who shopped in Victoria’s Secret.

“I’m not a crowd-fighter,” Davis said.

The weekend of shopping will continue with Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Small businesses across the region are planning special sales to lure in customers. The day is growing in popularity. Approximately 61 percent of U.S. consumers are aware of Small Business Saturday going into the day, and of those, 82 percent plan to shop at a small, independently-owned retailer or dine at a small, independently-owned restaurant on the day.

“Supporting small businesses is critical to the health and livelihood of our national economy and local communities,” said NFIB CEO and President Juanita Duggan.

The Oregon District and several businesses in downtown Dayton will offer special sales too. Shoppers can browse at local businesses like Brim , the accessory shop in the Oregon District. Pick out a wide-brimmed hat and deck it out with a funky feather, scarf or pin. Prices range from $50 to $250. Luna Gifts & Botanicals , located on Wayne Ave., sells plants and eclectic gifts starting from $8. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton will also offer 25 percent off all furniture and home decor at ReStore, located at 115 West Riverview Ave. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Kelly Sullivan, owner of Recline and Rest in Beavercreek, said his business had a great turnout of customers last year on Small Business Saturday. The furniture store is offering several deals, including a waived delivery fee for purchases made on Saturday. He said as the economy continues to improve, he’s seen more people willing to spend this year at his store.

“Quite a few people say they do prefer to shop small because of the service,” he said. “There’s a lot to be said about small and local businesses. They are the driver of our local economy.”

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