NEW CANAAN, Conn. – Holiday business already had started to pick up for Karen Stinchfield and the staff at The Whitney Shop heading into Thanksgiving.
She hopes traffic at the New Canaan store will stay busy Saturday and the rest of the long weekend.
Smaller businesses are hoping promotion of Small Business Saturday will get people to visit and buy locally rather than just at malls or online. Leading into the weekend, The Whitney Shop staff said people had settled down after Hurricane Sandy and were looking to buy table settings and hostess gifts in addition to starting their Christmas shopping.
“Hopefully it will be busy,” said Stinchfield, the store’s manager. “I think with the attention of Small Business Saturday, a lot of people try to support local places. It sets the tone” for the rest of the shopping season.
Brenda Connolly, owner of the clothing store True Blue on Elm Street, said she hopes people will drop in on her shop Saturday, a big time for small stores as the all-important December shopping season approaches.
Small Business Saturday, she said, was a nice promotion last year. "We hope people will get on board with it this year,” said Connolly, conceding good weather and people supporting smaller shops rather than going to malls will be a difference.
Chris Kilbane, owner of the New Canaan Toy Store on Park Street, will have his shop open Saturday. Traffic at his place will depend on how many people stayed around town or are visiting for the weekend, he said, adding he’s expecting a bigger crowd later in the season when things are back to normal.
New Canaan Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tucker Murphy hopes shoppers will drop in on local stores. To make downtown look at little more attractive for the occasion, the lighting on downtown trees will be turned on during the shopping weekend.