Nov 29, 2013 7:27 PM by Erin Steuber

Small Businesses and Black Friday

The biggest shopping day of the year is here, and thousands are shopping til they drop. The holiday shopping frenzy started yesterday for dozens of retailers hoping to cash in. And Friday, many of those sales carried over, and will continue until the close of business tonight. Last year, sales on black friday topped over $11.2 million.

For some local businesses like Caroline and Co. and Brothers, this weekend kicks off the busiest part of their year. But for others, the competition from larger retailers on Black Friday means less business walking through the door.

'Tis the season for shopping, gift giving and sales. But, small businesses are finding ways to stay competitive on Black Friday.

"(Our sale is) an additional 25% off the marked down price, so it's a great buy," said Gay Weidenbach with Brother's.

"We had different sales throughout the store and some door-buster specials," said Charlotte Cryer, owner of Caroline & Co.

Many Black Friday sales at the national retailers end Friday, but for small businesses, the weekend of sales is just getting started.

"The local stores support our community and this is a time that the community can support us and shop with us locally," said Cryer.

No matter who is on your list, there are options to shop local.

"When our clients come in, our sales associates give them one on one attention, from the moment they walk through our door, to the moment they leave," said Weindenbach.

You can find everything from sports apparel and equipment over at Bell's Sporting Goods. To sales on personalized gifts, children's clothing and home decor over at Caroline & Co.

"It's great. This is our busiest time of the year. We offer complementary gift wrapping. We have lots of personalized items we can special order for customers, and you get that one on one customer treatment that you don't get in the big box store," said Cryer.

But this season of savings can be hard to keep up with.

"It's always tough this time of the year. Usually our customer base is 2 weeks before Christmas," said Ken Seibold. "So for us, Black Friday and Saturday doesn't mean quite as much for us as it does for them."

If you avoided the crowds Friday. don't worry this shopping weekend isn't over. For the last three years, after Black Friday comes Small Business Saturday, designed to generate sales at local businesses across the nation.Many stores here in Acadiana will be participating.



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