Small Business Saturday Drives Local Traffic To Your Door

Avatar Act-On

Shop Small

Local businesses are not getting the love they deserve. Particularly when we’re busy and harried and frazzled. Like during the holidays.

Ask anyone – me included – and they’ll most likely wax affectionate about their town’s quaint mom-and-pop shops with wonderful, one-of-a-kind, unique wares and tchotchkes and artisan offerings.

But do we shop there? Be honest.

Small local businesses are the Davids to behemoth, big box Goliaths. Take a walk down Main Street, Anywhere and the winners and losers are becoming more apparent.

So it’s surprising and somewhat awesome that American Express (a presumed Goliath) decided to do something about it in 2010.

It’s called Small Business Saturday – the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

And it’s working. Arise, Davids. Arise!

So what about Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

What about them, indeed? As shoppers, we love them. As merchants, we’re hopeful to receive love from them (as measured by share-of-wallet, of course). And it’s true that small, local shops also benefit from these two monster shopping days.

But not as much as the Goliaths. Goliaths clean up.

Let’s look at the history:

“Black Friday” got started in the 1960s. Contrary to the recent “get our revenue into the black” rhetoric associated with the day, Black Friday was coined by Philadelphia police to describe the crowded, traffic-choked, frenetic atmosphere of post-Thanksgiving shopping in that city.

Over the years it’s been increasingly embraced as the kick-off to holiday shopping, with brick-and-mortar stores opening ever-earlier (first it was 8 am, then 6 am, then 4 am, soon it was midnight). Black Friday is known for aggressive crowds, with yearly stories of shootings, assaults, and tramplings. (Don’t take the kids.)

“Cyber Monday” is two days later … the Monday after Thanksgiving. The day was invented by online marketers and launched in 2005, sold to us as the first “big day” to shop online after the Thanksgiving holiday where (presumably) we all were taking languid, relaxing walks around Main Street while supporting our local mom-and-pop shops. (Sure, it could happen that way.)

Shopping “small” is big business for the little guys

Here’s what we’ve got:

  • Thursday = Thanksgiving
  • Friday = Black Friday
  • Monday = Cyber Monday