Downtown shops reported the best sales days of the year on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday last weekend.
Ryan Stoner, a co-owner of Radiant Sun, said the two-day output was “our best weekend in sales since we’ve been in business.”
“We doubled our sales this year from last year,” said Stoner, who co-owns her shop with Stephanie Gentry.
Similarly, Holly Hartman and Hattie Hancock, the mother-daughter duo that run Elite Downtown, agreed that the weekend was the best two days they’ve ever had. They said the store sold five times the amount of merchandise than it did just the weekend before.
And Beachbum Farms, run by another mother-daughter duo, Beth Melton and Nancy
Satterfield, said they were packed both days.
“We can’t complain about the number of customers,” Satterfield said. “We had a lot of customers.”
The store owners said other downtown shops reported similar numbers over the weekend. Part of the reason for the good weekend is that one there are a lot more shops downtown than there were just several years ago, and owners are working together and with the Henderson Chamber of Commerce to promote the downtown and each other, said Stoner, whose store has been in its Main Street location for two years.
Holiday sales in November and December often keep local businesses afloat, which is reason for owners to push a ‘buy local’ slogan.
“Our fourth quarter carries us the rest of the year,” Satterfield said, adding that those sales account for 1/3 to ½ of the yearly total.
Working on those slim margins also accounts for the high alert shop owners have for shoplifting. A series of recent shoplifting thefts leading up to Black Friday and Small Business Saturday caused shop owners to be even more vigilant on the two busiest shopping days of the year, they say.
Though she was happy about the store being packed both days, Satterfield said it caused some anxiety while trying to keep watch on people who may try to slip merchandise into a bag. Melton agreed, saying that a $50 purchase is equal to the amount an employee gets paid for three hours of work. So when a shoplifter takes something, it’s like “somebody’s pay check walking out” the door.
“We’re all on high alert,” said Hancock, of Elite.