In an attempt to highlight the hundreds of thousands of US small businesses that get overlooked on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, American Express created Small Business Saturday in 2010. With a major credit card company promoting it, Small Business Saturday has become an event across the country, driving consumer small business spending on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving to $14.3 billion in 2014. Here are 5 different industries that are due to experience a significant surge in sales on Nov. 28.
With the recent collapse of nationwide book selling franchises like Borders and Waldenbooks, independent bookstores across the country have stepped up to fill the gap. Part of the reason indie bookstores like Powell’s and the Elliot Bay Book Company have thrived in recent years is because of programs like Indies First, which works to get authors in bookstores on Small Business Saturday to drive sales.
Boutique Clothing Stores
Independent clothing boutiques across the nation have taken advantage of Small Business Saturday by holding in-store events. This year, Breckenridge, Colorado’s Beloved Boutiques will give discounts to any customers who make a charitable donation of any size. Indianapolis, Indiana’s Lucky B Boutique will be offering buy one, get one 50 percent off everything in the store all day on Nov. 28.
As they typically trade in localized merchandise, gift shops are uniquely situated to take advantage of Small Business Saturday. Sterling, Illinois’ Gold Key Gifts has combined two different strategies to promote their company for the event: They’ve teamed up with a number of other local small businesses in order to drive sales through cross promotion, and they have launched a selfie campaign, wherein shoppers can post pictures of themselves on the participating stores’ Facebook pages; the photos that get the most likes will receive a $1,000 prize pack.
As pumpkin, pecan and apple pies are a well-known staple of Thanksgiving dinner, it may seem counter-intuitive for an independently owned bakery to participate in Small Business Saturday. Peoria, Illinois’ Apple Bakery discovered a novel way to take advantage of the event after an initial failure. At first, Apple offered a lunch deal on the big day, only to find that customers were uninterested because they still had ample Thanksgiving leftovers. The bakery later found success by featuring a 20 percent off sale of holiday themed treats.
A Manoa, Hawaii based coffee shop called Mountain Glass Coffee is also using an unconventional approach to Small Business Saturday: The shop will be selling tote bags and T-shirts for $10 off. While this approach may seem strange, many retailers across the country have found success by using specially branded merchandise that features the company’s logo and a slogan or hashtag urging consumers to shop locally. Not only is this marketing strategy intelligent because it localizes a national program, but it will also prompt purchasers every time they have to do laundry.
Mario McKellop is a freelance writer who has covered the pop culture beat since 2010.