Small businesses, locally owned boutiques pleased with Black Friday turnout

Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday, but locally owned businesses got in on the Black Friday excitement.

Local retailers offered early deals for eager shoppers, and said they had a steady stream of business to help them kick off their holiday season.

Boutique store, Eden In Love, opened a pop-up store at the old Marukai location off Ward Avenue. This is the seventh year they’ve done this for Black Friday.

“We had a crazy awesome sale at six this morning. Customers got 50 percent off their purchase if they were in line by 8 a.m.,” said Alyssa Nakau, the store’s creative director. “I was a little nervous this morning considering that shopping’s changing these days, but I came in, the line was long, and I was so excited, so it was everything we’d hoped for and more.”

Several other boutique shops in downtown Honolulu promoted their own Black Friday deals and were not disappointed.

“We are just really ecstatic about how the sales are going today,” said Darcy Cook. “This is very, very important to us.”

Cook’s daughter owns Cookies, a trendy clothing store.

“This is a launch for us into the Christmas season,” Cook explained. “We have a very large, very loyal clientele, so it’s great to see them all shopping. They love our clothes. They love our place. They love our service, so we’re expecting a very good holiday.”

Just across the street from Cookies, on Bethel Street, is Fighting Eel’s flagship boutique location. Store manager Cindy Wong said they were pleased with the turnout.

“It’s still really busy. We have really loyal customers who stand in line. We had the first customer who came here at 3:30 in the morning. It’s been really consistent,” she said.

Risha Asao, who lives in Makiki, found a pair of yoga pants and a shirt on sale.

“I love their clothes, but it can be a little pricey, so whenever they have a sale, I like to come down here during my lunch break to get some clothes,” she said.

Tina Yamaki, president of Retail Merchants of Hawaii, said that deals aren’t the only reason customers like to buy local.

“Local businesses are part of the community. They have specialized items,” Yamaki explained. “They’re very customer service oriented. They know their customers. They know their products.”

Customers agreed that the local stores were definitely favorites.

Asao said there are reasons she loves shopping at the local stores: “The aloha spirit here in Hawaii, and all the floral prints are really unique.”

Although Black Friday is over, the holiday shopping season is only beginning and Yamaki said there are still a lot of sales out there.

“If you missed it today,” Yamaki said, “as we get closer, you’re going to see more deals going on.”

She also talked about deals shoppers can look for on Saturday.

“Small Business Saturday is actually focused on the stores with roots here in Hawaii,” Yamaki said. “Like Town and Country, Crazy Shirts, and things like that.”

Yamaki also suggested downloading your favorite store’s app to help you get the biggest discounts and information about upcoming sales.

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