Small Business Holiday Sales

By: Kelly Creswell Email
By: Kelly Creswell Email

Holiday shopping is in full-force after shoppers braved the early morning door-busters on Black Friday, but with big box stores offering huge holiday sales, did that leave local shops in the Valley in the dust?

It was a mixed bag for businesses in downtown Harrisonburg with some having a great day for sales while others just has loyal customers pick up some items.

The Black Friday sales have come and gone, but shoppers are still looking for those bargains. However, the businesses downtown weren't offering bargains. They were offering unique items shoppers can only find in downtown Harrisonburg.

"Black Friday was excellent for us. We opened at normal time at 9:30. A lot of people came out to see a lot of the unique estate jewelry that came by and sales were excellent that day," says Hunter Woodard, the business development manager at McHone's Jewelry.

But some other businesses didn't fare as well during the shopping holiday.

"We were hoping for a better turnout downtown. I think it's going to happen. We just need more people downtown, more reasons to come," says Marty Carpenter, the manager for La De Da.

Downtown businesses aren't worrying about smaller sales.

"The largest increase for downtown shops tends to be over the entire holiday season, not any one specific day and often buyers get accustomed to looking for sales and special merchandising and many of the downtown retailers focus on their steady customers, and attracting new customers over the entire season," says Eddie Bumbaugh, the executive director of the Downtown Renaissance.

While retailers didn't expect to have long lines at their doorsteps on Black Friday, they say their uniqueness will attract many customers downtown.

"Well, we're a destination shop. So if people are going to come to us, they know we're not out by the mall and that we're downtown," says Woodard.

In the hopes of bringing more people downtown to shop and see some of the new businesses downtown, this Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m., the Downtown Renaissance is sponsoring pictures with Santa, the Court Square tree lighting with the mayor, and many other fun festivities to get everyone in the holiday spirit. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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