The Woodward News

November 22, 2012

Black Friday a boon for local merchants

Chris Cooper
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — To holiday shoppers Black Friday means great deals and big crowds, but what does Black Friday mean for local businesses?

Chairman of the Woodward Main Street Association Kris Day said, "Last year was stellar, business was great so I'm really looking forward to it this year. We had a great turnout last year."

Day said there are several benefits to shopping local.

"You can come downtown, park, and walk around from shop to shop," she said.

In addition, she said that there are a wide variety of retail businesses to choose from.

"The Main Street program has done a wonderful job of bringing in new business; there are so many new shops downtown, it's shocking. It's one-stop shopping," Day said, noting "You can stop by, Christmas shop, find anything you need, grab a bite to eat, all in one trip."

C. J. Montgomery, president of the Woodward Chamber of Commerce, agreed about the variety of shopping.

"We have such a great group of merchants from one end of the town to the other. That's one of the great things about Woodward, you can find anything you need, there's hardly anything not available to you in Woodward," Montgomery said.  

In addition to convenience, shopping locally also benefits the community.

"One of the benefits of shopping local is all that money stays in Woodward, not only in the sense that you're buying from someone you know, but also in sales tax receipts in terms of giving the city greater ability to provide more  benefits to its residents," Montgomery said.

Both Day and Montgomery are as optimistic about the potential of this year's Black Friday.

"We're expecting a good turnout this year," Day said.  "A lot of merchants are doing their own things. Some shops are opening early, some are staying open late, some are even giving out things like gift cards."

Other activity in the community could also help to bolster early holiday sales, Montgomery said.

"Woodward will be hosting a Class C (football) playoff game Thursday night which will bring in a lot of people from out of town and help sales," he said.

With those potential additional shoppers, Montgomery said he feels that the Black Friday kick-off to the shopping season will help to continue the city's strong sales tax collections.

"Sales tax numbers have exceeded $1 million for 9 out of the last 10 months and we expect that to continue with such a vibrant retail community during the holiday season," he said.