WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Northeastern and central Pennsylvania shoppers joined millions of others nationwide today in a Thanksgiving weekend tradition.
They looked for doorbusters and other deals while doing some Black Friday shopping. Kohl’s Department store near Wilkes-Barre was among the local stores bustling with business. Despite a rise in online shopping, Black Friday is still enormously important to the retail industry.
With only several more hours of the savings and chaos of Black Friday left, it’s just one of the special post-Thanksgiving days to splurge. Eyewitness News reporter Kevin Hayes is in downtown Wilkes-Barre with a look at where you can spend for the holidays and contribute on a local level.
It’s been a growing trend over the years and the wait is almost over. This weekend, it’s Small Business Saturday, drawing people to local shops offering local products and a local feel from Wilkes-Barre to Williamsport to the Poconos.
“So five years ago we opened this store. There was no group putting together all the specials for all the stores so I thought that would be something I could do, since we have a gift shop here at Pocono Soap,” Amanda Beam said.
Beam really spearheaded the Small Business Saturday organization for downtown Stroudsburg. Pocono Soap makes this annual tradition a true community staple.
“We really try to search out Pennsylvania-made items because we can’t compete with Amazon. We can’t compete with Kohl’s and all of that so we want to bring things to people that they can’t just go order online,” Beam said.
Millions of online sales will take place on the coming Cyber Monday, but small businesses give you a personal, memorable experience.
“Quality is the customer service so you get that interaction. You can touch it. You can feel it, so you know what you’re getting before you take it home and you don’t open a box and say ‘oh what is this?’,”Judy Henry, manager of The Potting Shed said.
The growing number of local businesses that participate gives hope for more sales that help support the community.
“It’s going to be good. Hopefully, a lot of people will come down because there’s more shops on Main Street now than there normally are. The more things that come into town, that’ll help people draw from the malls, hopefully,” Paula Fitzpatrick, owner of Fitzpatrick’s said.
The deals on Black Friday are great for the wallet, but there’s just something about walking into local businesses during the holiday shopping season.
“So many times through the holiday season, you get to the big box stores and you’re not greeted with a smile. Our goal is to welcome you into our store and make it an experience you’ll remember,” Henry said.
Downtown Stroudsburg is ready to go. From the Poconos to here in the Wyoming Valley and across the nation, you’ll be able to do some holiday shopping and support your local communities.