The numbers are in, and it was a bleak Black Friday with a 10 percent drop in sales at retail stores, which compared to last year, according to research firm Shopper Track, is more than $1 billion less.
But, the shopping season is far from over, more shoppers may be spending more time online, more stores offered “pre”-Black Friday sales, and maybe more shoppers are shopping “small.”
Many locally owned stores here and across the country offered discounts on November 28, the day after Black Friday, also known as Small Business Saturday. The day is a nationwide campaign to get shoppers to support local businesses in their communities.
Managers at the small businesses KHON2 visited said they are taking advantage of the day by offering sales only on Saturday to get customers shopping.
Shoppers said they choose to shop small because they can get unique items and help their community at the same time.
Local, unique gifts you can’t get anywhere else. That’s what some small businesses are counting on to drive sales this holiday season.
“It’s a lot more unique, you get a lot of different things,” said Kailua resident Kristen Brinkley.
Employees at Lanikai Bath and Body were busy ringing up customers and getting their online shipments out on Small Business Saturday.
The store only offered a discount Saturday, and sales have nearly doubled compared to normally slower Saturdays.
“We got a lot of customers in, Japanese a lot of local customers so its’s been pretty intense,” said Kealohi Kuaiaa, an employee at Lanikai Bath and Body.
The assistant manager Lindsay Takekawa of Global Village in Kailua says they’ve been busy, and they are feeling the support from local customers.
“Today is a little bit slower compared to yesterday, yesterday it was just madness,” said Takekawa. “But today we are still seeing a lot of foot traffic, and great sales too.”
The National Federation of Independent Business reports 88 million customers shopped on Small Business Saturday in 2014, which generate $14.3 billion in sales, an increase of 14.9 percent from 2013.
“I just prefer the small business stores as opposed to the big department stores,” said Kailua resident Carl Johnson. “I think it helps the community and the people in it.”
Small business Saturday started in 2010, and it’s been growing ever since.