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Holiday shopping at small local stores

November 19, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
If you're dreading the annual trek to the crowded shopping mall this holiday season, why not try a small local shop? Small-business owners are ready to serve. Many are offering unusual gifts and even incentives to get you to shop at the mom-and-pop shops.

Shoppers are already getting ahead of Black Friday traffic.

"You go to the big stores, you get the same stuff everybody gets," says Kentucky resident Brad Harwick. "You go to a small store, you just get some oddball stuff, people can get a kick out of, you don't normally see."

"It's less stress," says Montrose resident Kori Icardo. "The kids have more fun, it's set up. It's localized, it's special and you shop local, so we're all about keeping these stores in the community."

Most of the local stores in Montrose are having sales or will be tax-free on Black Friday to draw customers in, but the owners say the real peak traffic time is the 10 days before Christmas.

At Tom's Toys, the shopping season is looking good.

"It seems to be a little bit more positive, it seems like people are moving on and settling in and starting to shop, so I would think that it's going to be a little bit up from last year, is what I'm sensing so far," says Ted Frankel, owner of Tom's Toys.

And at the gift shop Critters, they are starting to see more holiday shoppers as well. Customers are not only dodging the chaos of big stores, but also supporting their local community shops.

"We're part of a family, a community," says Christine Aroyan, owner of Critters. "I think there's that feeling here, and we like to keep our business within, and we have lots of local moms that have their products in here, so it's nice to support them as well."

"We're way more a part of the community, we know people by name when they come in, we know their kids, we donate to the community," says Ted Frankel. "It's a totally different experience. And if you go the mass market where you are just waiting in line and trying to figure out what you want yourself."

Money stays in the community for gifts to remember.


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