Holiday shopping impacts local businesses

By Amanda Hanson - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- From Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, its a shop-a-holic dream weekend. Numbers from the Associated Press said holiday shopping had a 33% spending increase on Thanksgiving, but are local businesses getting a piece of the pie?

"When you shop local the money saves local," says Ted Herget, owner of Gearhead Outfitters in Jonesboro.

He says so far this weekend sales have been good. "The downtown number grew. The mall numbers grew. More people came in this year than last year. If I could have done a best case scenario, it was better than that," says Herget.

He says yesterday alone sales were up nearly 30% from last year. "To have that kind of growth in really what's still kind of the reminiscence of some sort of recession. We're comfortable."

Over at Stream Roller Blues off Nettleton there was a constant flow of customers. "it's been very busy. We've had a lot of people coming in and out. People were looking for things. We were helping them out. It's been one of the best Black Fridays we've seen here," says Employee Byshea Bowers.

She says this year the vibe from shoppers is different. "I think last year was like a big halt on shopping. No one really wanted to get out and buy anything because of the economy, but this year it seems like it's not slowing people down as much," she says.

When these local businesses were asked what separated themselves from their corporate competitors...

"The mall you go in every store and you kind of see the same thing. Well here, it's different. We have different jeans, different tops, jackets, all that's different," says Bowers.

"We have more product, selection bigger than any other store area. Bigger than any store in Memphis, their selection, and that's our confidence this year in the economy," says Herget.

Both stores do not think the shoppers plan to stop anytime soon and predicts the next month to promising.

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