Independent footwear retailers are hoping the 2nd annual Small Business Saturday shopping event offers up early holiday gifts.
The event, organized by American Express, started last year as a way to encourage consumers to shop at local, independently-owned retailers the day after the door-buster, big box sales of Black Friday. Retailers can register on the American Express Facebook page, and consumers who shop at a participating retailer will receive $25 off their credit card statement.
“Our customers shop the big sales on Black Friday, but Small Business Saturday was really good for us last year,” said Christine Campbell, owner of Los Altos-Calif.-based Crimson Mim. “So, I’m hoping it will be again this year. I think it’s a really good thing.”
David Jassem, owner of four Los Angeles-area David’s Shoe Salon boutiques, said last year the event didn’t add anything to his weekend sales, but this year he was embracing the program. “This year, we’re going to try to promote it more,” he said. “We’re sending out an email blast to our clients to see if that helps.”
However, Jassem questioned whether or not the well-intentioned message was really reaching consumers. “You see the ads everywhere, but as a consumer, it seems difficult for them to really figure out what this means,” he said. “To register, you have to go to the American Express Facebook page, not to the American Express web site. It’s confusing. The spirit of the thing is good, but I’m not sure the practicality is benefitting anybody.”