Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Saturday Nov. 24: Small Business Saturday

Over the past few years, American Express, with the American Independent Business Alliance and other organizations, works to designate "Small Business Saturday" as a shop local event for post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping.

Right: Black Friday line at a Target store.  Image from the Associated Press, 2007.

The Friday after Thanksgiving is known as "Black Friday," for its orgiastic shopping excess in terms of the volume of sales, special blowout pricing on various items, occasional deaths from shopper stampedes, etc.

Although this year some retailers are opening Thursday evening, as early as 8pm, whereas in previous years about the earliest opening was at midnight on Thursday.  See "The Changing Shades of Black Friday" from the Wall Street Journal.

I'm surprised that more local business promotion efforts, although I have seen a press release from the Old Takoma Business Association, aren't centered around promoting local holiday shopping for this Saturday.

The first year after the DC/USA Center opened, Councilman Jim Graham promoted early WMATA subway service to support that center's, with an Target, Best Buy, and Bed, Bath and Beyond, Black Friday activities.  Of course, hardly anyone used WMATA in those early morning hours that day.  Besides, better to support package delivery.  A lot of shoppers buy so much on Black Friday that they are likely to drive.  See the 2008 press release from CM Graham, "Metro Opens at 4 A.M. for "Black Friday" Sales."

Rather than try to market against the sales orgy on Friday, and lose, better to set a different day, which is what Small Business Saturday does.

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