Small Business Saturday is sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The annual shop local day is fairly new, spearheaded by credit card giant American Express in 2010. Many thought it wouldn’t last, but 6 years later, the shopping tradition is more popular than ever.
Melanie Clark owns Big City Toys on Old Shell Road. She says they compete against toy corporations like Toys-R-Us by offering something you can’t get in a box store.
“We like to think we just give it that extra something to make you say Welcome to Mobile!” Clark says as she shows off some of their local items like a toy crawfish boil pot and a Mardi Gras bead art kit.
Next door, Red Beard’s Outfitter, a new outdoor store, is getting ready for its first Small Business Saturday. Natalie Smith and her husband opened it just last month.
“We’re interested in your adventure. We want to know how it went when you come back. Those big shops, they don’t know where you’re going, and they don’t care about your experience. But we truly care,” Smith said about what sets them apart.
American Express estimates that nearly 100 million people shopped locally during last year’s Small Business Saturday.