ESCANABA, Mich. (WZMQ) – Downtown Escanaba businesses got a head start on holiday sales with Black Friday on Tuesday.
Participating stores hosted sales, promotions, and activities from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
“The attention goes a lot of times to the big box stores, so the smaller businesses in the downtown are taking advantage of it by doing it just a few days early,” said Craig Woerpel, Director of the Escanaba Downtown Development Authority (DDA). “It’s been a good tradition in Escanaba and it’s gone over very well.”
For Morrison Shop owner Nickie Lauerman, it’s one of the busiest days of the year.
“I’ve had this store for three years and before I was the store owner, I would participate in Black Friday on Tuesday,” Lauerman said. “It was great to up and down the streets, go into all the stores, see what they had to offer. It’s just a great way to get people to come into town, get great deals before Black Friday. It’s a good community event.”
The Morrison Shop offered 40% discounts storewide, as well as 50% off of accessories. Lauerman says Black Friday on Tuesday is a major boost for small businesses.
“In the clothing business, it’s difficult to compete with Shein and Temu,” she said. “It’s hard to compete with Amazon. It’s really nice that we do get as many people as we do that come down today.”
Rather than a sale, eatery Grab & Go provided a yummy activity.
“We are doing design your own Christmas cookie for $2,” said owner and operator Rick Micheau. “It comes with cocoa and a candy cane and a dollar off the next visit for the parents.”
Micheau says it was a fun way for kids and families to be part of the event.
“The whole downtown experience on Black Tuesday is about families being together and starting off the Christmas season,” he said. “We just like to be part of that experience.”
In addition to helping Downtown Escanaba businesses, Woerpel says Black Friday on Tuesday is also an opportunity for shoppers to find that perfect, locally-made gift for the holidays.
“This is the time that we want to find just the right presents, and sometimes shopping locally means that you can find something that’s very unique to our area,” he said.
To encourage patrons to continue shopping small this holiday season, participating businesses hosted drawings. All entries will be included in a community-wide drawing. The first place winner will receive $500 in Downtown Jingle Dollars, which can be spent at participating shops and restaurants.