Major retail stores are kicking off their Black Friday deals today, but small businesses had a different idea. The Minot Downtown Association joined other cities across the U.S. participating in Plaid Friday. In today’s business beat, we show you what local stores are doing to attract customers.
The day after Thanksgiving is a time for many to catch deals ahead of Christmas. Retail giants like Walmart and Best Buy are some of the big go-to’s, but this year Minot is shifting the attention to local shops and restaurants.
“We aren’t able to do the traditional old-fashioned that we have done many years before because we can’t gather the same kinds of crowds out in the same place at the same time,” said Jessica Ackerman.
Plaid Friday reflects local variety and local sales. Almost every downtown association is pushing some sort of ‘shop local’ theme this holiday season as local businesses work to survive the economic impact of the virus.
Ackerman added, “It’s not going to be the kind of season they have seen in years past, where it’s really made their year but they know they want to get through it. They want to survive.”
Denise Lindbo who owns two businesses in Minot says these past few months haven’t been the easiest.
“We are thriving, but we are suffering too as far as our walk-in traffic, you know? And people coming in,” said Lindbo.
On top of foot traffic being down, the owner of Gourmet Chef and HighAir Ground Trampoline Park says the virus has had other impacts on her business as well. Like not being able to get merchandise in stock for customers.
But she’s hopeful that between Plaid Friday and Small Business Saturday, it will make things a little better. Not only for her store but for her neighbors as well.
Lindbo added, “So really trying to work together as a group. Just to help each other out because it has been a tough year for everybody. And if you can’t rely on your neighbors and your friends and your family, you’re in it alone, so you have to be able to reach out and help each other.”
Ackerman says almost every business in Downtown Minot has some sort of deal or special going on this weekend. But if you aren’t in the shopping mood, you can even just grab a cup of hot cocoa and walk around downtown to enjoy the Christmas decorations.