Buffalo Place encourages downtown shopping on 'Small Business Saturday'
The Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 28, is being marked nationwide as 'Small Business Saturday,' and Buffalo Place is offering encouragement - and incentives - to consumers who buy from small, independent retailers downtown.
Buffalo Place board members met on Wednesday morning and were briefed on the campaign, which includes the introduction of a "passport" in which shoppers collect stamps acquired through purchases at local retailers. Incentives for collecting stamps include discounts at participating local restaurants.
"We're really trying to showcase all these new shops as well as a lot of our old shops, which have outlasted the rail before cars came down, and really showcase how easy it is to get from the shops at Goodell and Main to the shops down at HarborCenter," said Erin Carmina, marketing coordinator at Buffalo Place.
Main Street's newest store is Furnishings, which offers home decor, personal accessories and gifts for men, women and even pets. For its owner, Joseph Incao, opening inside the former L.L. Berger building brings his life full circle. As he explained to the Buffalo Place board members Wednesday morning, he sold shoes at the one-time department store in the early 1980s, when the Metro Rail was undergoing construction.
He encouraged board members to utilize remaining available space on Main Street by attracting more retailers before offices.
"Storefronts are exactly that. They're not meant to be office fronts," said Incao. "It's disappointing to see people working at their desk when I want to be looking at product. To encourage more stores to come in means people can actually walk down Main Street, window shop and have options."
Small Business Saturday, which occurs nationwide, will take place the day after Black Friday. At Buffalo Place, Erin Carmina hinted that in addition to the stamp program, other incentives will be offered to lure shoppers interested in dealing with local retailers.
"A couple of retail folks have said that while they'll be open on Black Friday, they're going to wait and tell everybody they'll have special deals to come down and 'shop small' on Small Business Saturday," Carmina said.