Small Biz Want Black Friday Weekend Business, Too

Car in Euless store
Leslie - NBC 5 Viewer

Are you one of those shoppers who likes to hit the malls the day after Thanksgiving? It's a day when a lot of folks will be standing in line long before the sun comes up.

Black Friday isn't the biggest shopping day for everyone. In fact, it's actually not that different for any other for most small businesses.

Mom-and-Pop store owners work hard all year to make ends meet, only to be ignored on the biggest shopping day of the year.

For Eileen Burke, the owner of Queen Eileen's in Encinitas, Black Friday isn't such a big deal.

"We're busier than most weekends, but we definitely don't have a line out the door," Burke said on Tuesday.

While Black Friday isn't such a big deal for small businesses, the month of December is critical to the survival of many of them. For example, Burke said her business makes nearly 50 percent of its annual revenue in the 30 days after Thanksgiving. While her store doesn't have a big advertising budget, she needs to attract customers away from the busy malls.

Burke said she doesn't want to compete with the big stores, though.

"I don't need to make $40 million in six weeks like Macy's does," Burke said. "It's just a whole different deal."

Europtics has been selling unique glasses in North County for 23 years. While times have been tough lately, Marianne and Doug D'Amico know that locals will eventually work their way from the malls to their small businesses, with "a huge amount of husbands running in at the last minute, trying to buy sunglasses for their wives."

Linda Blumenthal of Time Wise Jewelers in Clairemont said the malls may be able to compete on Black Friday on prices for watches and jewelry on, they can't keep up when it comes to selection and personal service. 

"We do depend on a lot of traffic," Blumenthal said. "We just don't get it on that particular weekend; everyone seems to be at the mall."

But they'll be back -- at least that's what the small businesses are hoping. Will they spend more than in the past?  Only time will tell.

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