Local Stores Offer Alternative To Black Friday Madness
by Marcus Washington
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – While thousands were shopping at local malls, hundreds of people tried to avoid the crowds and traffic by shopping in the 5 Points area of East Nashville.
When it comes to Black Friday and shopping, most people will tell you it's the discounts that draw them in.
Jennifer Casale with The Green Wagon in East Nashville said five years ago she wanted to make sure her small business could compete with the malls and big box stores.
"So we started something called 'Skip the Mall and Shop Local,'" she said.
A campaign to help more locally owned businesses become a bigger part of one of the biggest shopping days of the year.
"It triggers something right, it's 20% off so it makes you think, let's buy a couple of things while we're here. It seems like people are in good spirits when they think there are good deals," said shopper Matt Killkenny.
He said for his family, finding a deal is good, but avoiding all the traffic and crowds surrounding Black Friday is the key for the day.
"Everything at the mall I can get any time. I might pay and extra five dollars here or there and when you come in here you do not have to deal with the lines, which is the best part -- and the discount is the key."
In its 5th year, a map and list of businesses is available to help people find the places that are participating in "Skip the Mall and Shop Local."
"We want to prepare to give our customers the best experience when they are trying to avoid the crowds from Black Friday and trying to peacefully shop for Christmas gifts in local boutiques like ours," said J.J. Dirienzo with Hip Zipper Vintage Clothing.
She said the campaign has been going well, bringing in a good flow of business, which is what all business owners want to see, especially on the billion dollar shopping day.
Students in the Academy of Energy and Power at Maplewood are busy getting ready for next week's Project Expo and had the opportunity to show it off some of their projects to Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper.