Small shops look to cash in on Black Friday

Posted at: 11/27/2013 5:56 PM
By: Mark Mulholland

Saying Black Friday isn't just for big-box stores, Saratoga Springs merchants are rolling out the red carpet for early morning shoppers.

Taking a page from the big box playbook, Downtown Saratoga stores are offering deep discounts to bring in the Black Friday bargain hunters.

The staff at Saratoga Saddlery is getting ready for a busy Black Friday.

They're selling everything for 50 percent off beginning at 6 o'clock Friday morning. The owners say the sale won't make them a lot of money, but might earn them some new customers.

"So whoever takes the effort to get up at 5 o'clock to be here at 6 o'clock to get the kind of deal, I think should be rewarded for it,” says Sabine Rodgers, the owner. “Hopefully, they come back and buy something else on another day,” she adds.

Saratoga Saddlery and Impressions of Saratoga are two of many taking part in a concerted effort to make downtown a destination for Black Friday shoppers. Stores are offering 50 percent off at 6 a.m., 40 percent off at 7 a.m. , and 30 percent at 8 a.m.

"It's more just a big festive open house sort of idea where people still get a great deal,” says Marianne Barker, owner of Impressions of Saratoga.

Black Friday is often associated with deep discounts at big box stores. Small shop keepers say the two can coexist.

"We're offering something that you're not going to find at the mall, so even if they're up early or if they're going to the mall, they're going to have to come down here any way to find the unique items that you can't get there,” says Maddy Zanetti, an employee at Impressions.

One of the new kids on the Saratoga block is also getting into the Black Friday act. Parkside Eatery, just a block off Broadway hopes to provide sustenance for those planning to shop 'til they drop. Offering $1 coffee and half-price breakfast sandwiches beginning at 6 a.m.

"They can stop in, hang out for an hour, get warm and then go out and start hitting the stores again,” says Heidi Hoyt, a chef and owner.

For the first time, stores here have pooled resources to use social media to let people know they're eager for Black Friday customers.