It's Black Friday--the day the masses converge upon stores to get the best deals on pretty much any gift one can think of. Although there are no big box stores to open in the wee hours of the morning, there are plenty of hopes by the many small businesses in the Grosse Pointes.
From the Park to the Woods, small business owners are having shopping deals this weekend and some are even prompting Small Business Saturday. It's the second year American Express is sponsoring the day, promoting and even encouraging shoppers to buy local.
Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jennifer Boettcher said the offer from American Express is truly beneficial to both the local store owner and the consumer. The deal: register your American Express card for Small Business Saturday, spend $25 or more at a qualifying small business and receive a $25 credit on your American Express bill.
At least two businesses in the Village have already promoted the deal--Village Toy and Pretty Things--via email to their regular customers. Wild Birds Unlimited and Small Favors are among the many others, as well.
Boettcher said there is such a variety in what the small boutique style shops of the Grosse Pointes offer, finding a gift for anyone should be easy.
The vitality of Grosse Pointe businesses and shopping arose during a community forum recently held by WDET radio at the Grosse Pointe Library Woods Branch. Among the 70 or so residents, at least a handful of residents expressed concerns.
Yet, Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce Director of Administration MaryJo Harris said it's easy to forget what the community has until its gone. Often when a local business closes, both chamber officials usually hear some feedback from residents who are disappointed. Yet, when they inquire about the last time the person shopped at that particular business, typically it's been a year or more.
There are many hidden gems within the retailers of the Grosse Pointes, they said. And Harris said, the prices are comparable with similar items being sold at big box stores. There are several stores offering Black Friday deals or discounts throughout this traditionally heavy shopping weekend, many of which are listed on the chamber's website.
Part of what makes shopping in the Pointes more difficult than most communities is that all of the stores are spread out, Boettcher said. There is the Mack Avenue business district, the Hill, Fisher Road, the Village and the Park shopping district.
Regardless of which area one visits, there is no shortage of unique goods, she said, it's just a matter of making the effort.
Residents need to approach the businesses of Grosse Pointe with the same attitude they do in regards to shopping they do up north at the local shops, Boettcher said, agreeing with a local business owner's impression.
"All the stores in Grosse Pointe offer the same things," Boettcher said.