Black Friday, Small Saturday and Cyber Monday Form Shopping Triumvirate as Pasadenans Prep for Holiday Shopping Blitz

Published : Wednesday, October 23, 2019 | 4:38 AM

Shop Local is the Message this Year as Black Friday, ‘Shop Small’ Saturday and Cyber Monday loom on Pasadena’s holiday shopping horizon.

It is no longer just Black Friday that draws the customers to pull out their wallets after the annual holiday get-together. The post-Thanksgiving weekend consists of Black Friday and “Shop Small” Saturday, which carries over to Sunday. And for those who didn’t find what they wanted over the furious shopping weekend are expected to turn to the Internet to order online on Cyber Monday.

The National Retail Federation said it expects holiday retail sales during November and December to increase between 3.8 percent and 4.2 percent over 2018 to a total of between $727.9 billion and $730.7 billion. The NRF says those numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants and this year is expected to gain 3.7 percent over the previous five years.

The Black Friday-Shop Small Saturday plans of many retailers aren’t all in place yet — many retailers are focused on Halloween for the moment — but shopping local is becoming more and more popular.

“Shop with the local guys,” said Paul Little, president of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce. “Really, what creates the character in Pasadena are the places that have been here and that are locally owned and operated.”

There is even a “Shop Small, Dine Local” campaign in the works to continue to promote the local retailers and restaurants. The Playhouse District, the Visit Pasadena and Old Pasadena are putting together their program to tip people off on the locals’ purchasing power.

It’s not that people don’t love the frenzy and the rush of Black Friday. It’s just that many people today are targeted in their approach and know what they want.

Retailers say customers have become more selective on that Black Friday-Shop Small weekend. They know what they’re coming in for, and they have a “list.”

“In Pasadena, many people go out of town for Thanksgiving,” said Jennie Walker, Co-Owner Walker / Viden Luxury Consignment within Green Street Village. “We don’t get a lot of customers for Black Friday. But small business Saturday is the next day and we may see something. Discounts don’t drive our business. People are coming here for something unique. People want things that are well-priced, but they really want something special.”

The big-name stores like Target, Walmart and Macy’s will all have their doorbusters and their deals. And people will be holding their place in line with their folding chairs and blankets on the sidewalk outside of Best Buy, hoping to get a deal on electronics, phones or the latest gadgets.

But when they’re done with that, they’ll be at their local shop to find what it was that they really wanted to buy.

“We’re a small, family-owned gear shop, highly specialized in turntables and home audio,” said Sean Williams, manager of Audio Element. “There are big audio places online. But we’d rather get you the best product, rather than the cheapest one.”

That strategy has worked for them.

Cyber Monday Expected to Increase Up to 14 Percent

And when all of that face-time is winding down, there is a chance for the shopper to get in an online purchase or two. And those shoppers represent a growing electronic retail market.

NRF expects online and other non-store sales, which are included in the total, to increase between 11 percent and 14 percent to between $162.6 billion and $166.9 billion, up from $146.5 billion last year.

Little said while there is a place for the big retailers in this world, it’s in the interest of the local community to ‘shop where you live.’

“As much as possible, keep your money in the local area,” Little said. “You may have a neighbor who has a store or you know a neighbor’s kid who works in a restaurant. That’s the economic impact. If you don’t go to the local store, you’re not going to get that.”

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