From unique toys at the Wellesley Toy Shop, to handmade jewelry at Isabel Harvey, to designer luggage and handbags at London Harness – there’s a little something for everyone when you shop small.
In Wellesley, Massachusetts, local shops line Center Street, inviting customers in who may be fed up with the long lines and limited merchandise with Black Friday shopping.
Demian Wendrow, the owner of London Harness and Tumi Wellesley, as well as the president of the Wellesley Square Merchant’s Association said, “It’s an inconvenience to go to those malls at 6 o’clock in the morning and to worry about all the rushes and the traffic so our customers really enjoy coming to our town, keeping the town alive.”
“Small Business Saturday,” as it’s become known, is a chance for mom-and-pop stores to shine, and possibly gain life-long customers.
American Express started the program in 2010, giving their card holders incentives to shop small.
AmEx says sales for the day have steadily climbed over the years, reaching $5.7 billion in 2013.
Isabel Harvey co-owner Alexis Kissam said, “It helps get new customers in the store and it helps remind the community that it is very important that small businesses do exist.”
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This year AmEx shoppers can get $10 back for spending at least ten dollars at up to three small businesses, which leads to some pretty happy customers.
Andy Brown, owner of Wellesley Toy Shop and Wellesley Gift Shop said, "This is always a busy weekend and it definitely helps that people are getting a $10 credit, $20 or $30 credit. It’s a gift certificate for doing nothing other than using their AmEx card so it definitely helps.”