Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

After Black Friday, store owners touting Small Business Saturday

Grace Whitman, 11, of Woodbury, Minn., shops for Jayhawk merchandise on Black Friday at Jock’s Nitch, 837 Massachusetts St. Downtown store owners are hoping residents will participate in Small Business Saturday today and make an effort to buy from local shops.

Grace Whitman, 11, of Woodbury, Minn., shops for Jayhawk merchandise on Black Friday at Jock’s Nitch, 837 Massachusetts St. Downtown store owners are hoping residents will participate in Small Business Saturday today and make an effort to buy from local shops.

November 24, 2012


National retailers like Kohl’s, Best Buy and Target were crowded with Black Friday shoppers starting as early as 9 p.m. Thursday, but the number of shoppers walking down Massachusetts Street on Friday was small compared with those at the big-name stores.

Shop owners downtown are hoping local residents will participate in Small Business Saturday and continue their holiday buying at local businesses for the weekend and through the holiday season.

“I think that the tradition is to hit the Targets of the world and Best Buys or whatever on Black Friday morning and then on Saturday maybe continue your shopping once the box-store rush wears off,” Downtown Lawrence Inc. director Cathy Hamilton said.

Small Business Saturday is a national campaign for customers to spend money at smaller local stores, and businesses unique to Lawrence are supporting the idea.

“They’re treating it likes it’s a new thing, but back in the day, everybody shopped local, so I think it’s a really positive thing to return to,” Hamilton said. “Our merchants are embracing the day and having specials.”

Many businesses along Massachusetts Street said they seemed to have more customers than on the average Black Friday.

“Black Friday always kicks off the holiday season, and it’s been busier than anticipated,” Weaver’s Department Store president Joe Flannery said. “We expect (Saturday) to be better than last year just because of the awareness and publicity that is going on nationwide.”

Flannery likes the attention being put on small businesses because he believes in the power of shopping locally, which not only helps the local economy and generates jobs, but also helps area businesses to be able to support local charities.

“Last year there was a big push to shop local and this year too,” Jock’s Nitch manager Scott Ozier said. “It keeps the money in town and for the families who work here allows them to go out and shop as well.”

Lawrence resident Lindsey Morris began her Black Friday shopping at 11 p.m. Thursday. She went to national retailers like Walmart and J.C. Penney until 7 a.m. and returned to downtown Lawrence to continue shopping late Friday morning.

Morris said she wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but came downtown to browse and see what deals local merchants might have.

Karin Barrett, sales associate at Blue Dandelion Children’s Boutique, said she thinks most people, like Morris, do their Black Friday shopping at big stores before coming to Massachusetts Street.

“We’re expecting even more for Small Business Saturday, so we’re hoping for a bigger crowd downtown,” Barrett said.


clovis_sangrail 1 year, 4 months ago

I don't shop downtown very often. I would go there more if the stores had clean and accessible restrooms.

Most don't even have public restrooms, and in those that do, the restrooms look like what one would expect to find out behind a gas station that wally the tire guys was supposed to clean once a week whether it needed it or not.

I don't mind the walk, in fact, I rather enjoy it, but when I am accompanied by a 5-year-old who needs to pee and am told by the sales person that the restroom is for staff only, I quickly re-direct my shopping dollars.


Laura Wilson 1 year, 4 months ago

We started shopping downtown on Black Friday several years ago rather than go into KC because we have wonderful unique shops and why spend money out of our own community? We did hit Penny's (the only place with long lines), World Market and a few others out south at 7:00 yesterday morning and then went downtown. Hardly anyone was there and we parked in the garage--horrors, had to walk half a block to Mass! Then we shopping all six blocks and a few shops on the side streets. There weren't that many people shopping, no long lines to check out, no wait for lunch. The only complaint was how freezing cold it was with that horrible wind.

I went downtown today as well and picked up a few things I missed yesterday--still not very busy and had no problem parking in two locations. I had brunch with some friends and we'd all spent money downtown. I much prefer spending money there, even if things are a tad more expensive, and the walking is good for me! And today the wind had died down. Nothing at Walmart can compare to shopping at places like Hobbs, Prairie Pond, Calamity Janes and Brits to name a few.

And, as someone mentioned, the decorations are lovely, if you shop downtown often enough, the shopowners get to know you by name (one shop even opened early for us yesterday when they saw us looking in the window), and they're glad for your business. There's also no pushing and shoving to get that last "deal".


Andini 1 year, 4 months ago

I'm downtown using the free wi-fi to do all of my shopping. Does this count?


Alabamastreet 1 year, 4 months ago

Lucky Dog Outfitters behind Party America is a great local business with awesome stuff for your dog. I encourage everyone to check it out. Very cool place for dog.lovers.


DRsmith 1 year, 4 months ago

Ah yes, small business Saturday, where you can go out and buy stuff for 25% more than you would anywhere else. Great deals to be had.


skinny 1 year, 4 months ago

I will be doing all my Christmas shoppong online. It is cheaper, free shipping, and no sales tax!


handlon 1 year, 4 months ago

We used to go to Weston or Parkville the day after Thanksgiving. Now we just go to our own downtown here,because it it way cooler than either of the others I mentioned. I always can tell there are people here visiting and enjoying Lawrence. The decorations look nice and I am proud to be able to live here! Go to The Old Fashioned Christmas Parade next weekend. It's a great tradition...oh you might have to walk a bit!


Mo Meza 1 year, 4 months ago

Downtown Lawrence is has been and still is a great place to go shopping with the family. We live in Topeka and go to downtown downtown all the time. I invite people out there that haven't try to do it. I know a lot of people from Topeka and other cities in Kamsas that do the same. You can find good quality, nice and reseanable price items.

Small business owners and City Council continue doing the great jojb yuo are doing for downtown and the city.


BigAl 1 year, 4 months ago

We are heading downtown today. Wouldn't consider anywhere else.


irvan moore 1 year, 4 months ago

i usually do some shopping at Weavera, great store


CastleRock 1 year, 4 months ago

A pet peeve of mine are the lazing individuals that get on the LJ World and post about having to walk three blocks to get to their destination downtown.

First....rarely does one have to park three blocks to get to their destination. Usually, you can find a spot within a city block (at the most). Second, downtown is not for the lazy asses, etc.. Walking is a prerequisite for "any" thriving downtown in a medium/large size city. Always has...always will.

dudedog12....stick to drive thru service.


Steve Miller 1 year, 4 months ago

I usually do not go down town for this reason: I go down town about once a year, because i have a short memory on how it is, to eat out ect. I have bad experiences when it cmoes to parking. I always have to walk 3 or more blocks to get to the eating place. I can't stand to go down town, it's crowd handeling abilitys are to small and cannot accomodate any crowd size what so ever. it is great for the drinking crowd, studenst ect.. that's about it, I stay away. sorry.. It will continue to shrink up , it is a place to buld bars and such..


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