Dickinson merchants busy on Small Business SaturdayWhile it was the big box stores and national chains that dominated the shopping scene on Black Friday, it was the local businesses’ turn on Saturday.
By: Bryan Horwath, The Dickinson Press
While it was the big box stores and national chains that dominated the shopping scene on Black Friday, it was the local businesses’ turn on Saturday.
Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday — a shopping holiday created in 2010 and sponsored by American Express — was in full effect in Dickinson on Saturday as local brick-and-mortar businesses got their day in the holiday shopping sun.
Third Avenue Floral owner Tara Laber said 2012 marks the third year that her business has participated in Small Business Saturday.
“It’s been busier than last year so far,” Laber said. “We’re selling a lot of holiday stuff. It’s a great event for our local businesses. We’re seeing a lot of unfamiliar faces, which is good.”
The uptick in oil industry-related activity in the Bakken in the past two years has led to an increase in foot traffic for most local businesses. Newby’s Ace Hardware store in Dickinson also took part in the small business festivities Saturday and Newby’s manager, Ben Olin, said customers often appreciate the customer service they receive at a local business as opposed to a large chain.
“We really stress that customer service is No. 1 here,” Olin said. “What we hear from people is that, when they go to the big box stores, they can’t find people to help them. Small Business Saturday is a great thing. At a local business like ours, we know our products, know the town and we want to help get people what they need and get on their way.”
Olin said the hardware store has made more money in sales when compared to this time last year, citing an increase in oil-related activity and industrial merchandise.
“We’ve seen just a huge increase in new customers lately,” Olin said. “We’ve seen lots of new people come through our doors. Plumbing items are in big demand, as well as electrical supplies.”
Danielle Jung of Greene Drug & Gift on Villard Street in Dickinson said business was steady Saturday, but that she expects the store to be bustling for Ladies Night Out, another local small business outing, which will take place from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 1 in downtown Dickinson.
“I think it will be really busy here for Ladies Night Out,” Jung said. “We released our Christmas catalog last week and we were pretty busy after that too.”