Local Retailers Find Shopping Small a Big Success in 2013

Through the din of the tsunami of advertising for Black Friday and Cyber Monday holiday sales at the big box stores, shoppers responded to the message sent from their own neighborhoods last week with a considerable spending spree at locally owned, independent shops on Small Business Saturday.
According to a recent report by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), more shoppers were aware of the “Shopping Small” campaign this year, and those who were familiar with the call to shop locally last Saturday acted with their pocketbooks.

The NFIB survey showed shoppers who were aware of the Small Business Saturday campaign spent an estimated $5.7 billion at local independent retailers, an increase of 27 percent from the $5.5 billion spent last year. More shoppers were aware of this year’s message, too. The NFIB report revealed a 71 percent awareness level among surveyed shoppers, up from 67 percent last year.

Nearly half of those who were aware of the Shopping Small message said they made purchases at independent stores.

In a prepared statement, NFIB President Dan Danner said, “We are very pleased that so many Americans sought to give back by shopping small this Small Business Saturday.”

Danner said he and the organization’s membership hoped the momentum gained on Small Business Saturday would continue.

Small Business Saturday and the “Shopping Small” campaign were started by American Express four years ago to boost sales in Main Street stores that were locally owned and operated. The effort was directed at jumpstarting holiday sales for small businesses facing an ever-crowded marketplace where big chains offered substantial discounts.

The campaign has grown increasingly important in its short lifespan. This year’s Small Business Saturday was formally endorsed and promoted by government officials from the top down, including President Obama, members of Congress and the governors of 41 states.

Susan Sobbott, president of American Express OPEN, said in a prepared statement, “In just four years, the nation has adopted Small Business Saturday and made it part of the holiday shopping tradition.”

Reference:

Harrison, J.D. “Obama, thousands of shoppers help small businesses get a head start on the holidays“, Washington Post. 12/3/13.

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